Nigerians have always had a strong history in English football. They've played a big role in the top flight of the game for a number of years. Since the EPL was created in 1992, there have been a few big names that have taken the league by storm. In this article, we're going to look at which Nigerian players have had the biggest impact and played the best. Whether you're looking at who to bet on for top scorer on today's betting sites---it's good to know how well Nigerians have done in the past.
Remember, thanks to a shared history and a strong background of Nigerian immigration into the UK, there are lots of current and former EPL stars that have mixed British and Nigerian heritage. Actually, a lot of the current English National Team has Nigerian heritage. In this article, we're only going to look at Nigerian EPL players that have represented the Nigerian National Team over the years, rather than the wide diaspora of players that have some Nigerian background.
Celestine Babayaro is a slightly older name on the list, and one some of you younger readers might have forgotten. He was one of the early pioneers of the attacking fullback role, and could also double up in midfield. A true utility player, he played for Chelsea between 1997 and 2005, before moving to Newcastle for the next few years for a total of over a decade in English football.
While goalscoring wasn't his forte, he still one a fair amount in his career, including the Cup Winners' Cup and the FA Cup with Chelsea.
Kanu is probably one of the most famous players on the list, and perhaps one of the most famous Nigerian footballers of all-time. He joined Arsenal fromInter in '99 and enjoyed great success under Arsene Wenger at what was arguably the clubs greatest era. He also had further successful stints in England at WBA and Portsmouth, helping them to their famous FA Cup win. Other trophies include 3 Dutch Titles and the Champions League with Ajax, the UEFA Cup with Inter, along with two league titles and two FA Cups with Arsenal. He was also part of Nigeria's Gold Medal Team, like Babayaro.
While Martins didn't quite reach the heights of Kanu, he still had a good career in England, capped with his League Cup-winning goal for Birmingham City.
John Obi Mikel
Despite some controversy around his transfer, Mikel went on to have a successful career in England with Chelsea, playing 249 times and winning two league titles and three FA Cups in the process.
Another of the famous Gold Medal Team, Okocha brought some West-African flair to the EPL when he signed for Bolton in 2002. It was quite a coup for the team who weren't a big name at the time. Okocha helped them finish fourth in the EPL, a record high.
Yakubu had a great career in England and scored a ton of goals. He's one of Nigeria's best-ever goalscoring exports, racking up 115 goals during his time in England.
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