Nigerian players returned to action at the weekend scoring deluge of goals in the United Kingdom, France and other leagues across Europe and Asia. Among the Nigerian goal scorers, the case of Wilfred Onyinye Ndidi appeared to be the most interesting as the former Gent midfielder redeemed his image with a 73rd minute header after gifting Chelsea the opening goal, to force the match to a 1-1 draw for Leicester at Stamford Bridge.
Meanwhile, the likes of Moses Daddy Simon, Chidozie Awaziem and Henry Onyekuru joined Nantes and AS Monaco lately to increase the number of Nigerians in the French Championnat.
In yet another package, ADEBAYO OLODAN captures the performances of Super Eagles players and hopefuls in foreign leagues.
Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) & Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City): Abraham was introduced in the 73rd min while Ndidi who text wrapped a goal for Chelsea drew his team level in the 67th min to earn Leicester City a 1-1 draw against Chelsea. The match was Ndidi’s 100th start for the Foxes. Former schoolboy international, Iheanacho was an unused substitute for the visitors.
Alex Iwobi (Everton) & Isaac Success and Tom Dele-Bashiru (Watford): The former Arsenal player will have to wait longer for his debut after he was left on the bench for 90 mins in the Toffees’ 1-0 home win against Watford for whom Success and Dele-Bashiru were not listed.
Success has made one league appearance for Watford this season, while Dele-Bashiru is yet to featured for the side.
Leon Balogun (Brighton): The central defender was not listed when his team drew 1-1 at home to West Ham United. Balogun was also not included in the match day squad in the Seagulls’ away win at Crystal Palace, last weekend.
Semi Ajayi (West Brom): He put up another impressive performance as his team recorded a 2-1 away win against Luton Town. Ajayi who was in action for 90 minutes in the game has now featured in all of West Brom’s Championship three games so far this season.
Oghenekaro Peter Etebo (Stoke City): The diminutive midfielder made his first league appearance of the season as he was introduced in the 87th min of his club’s 2-2 draw at home by Derby County.
Sammy Ameobi (Nottingham Forest): The forward made his first start of the season in his team’s 3-0 defeat of Birmingham City but was replaced with eleven minutes left to play.
Ebere Eze and Bright-Osayi Samuel (QPR): The duo were in action when Queens Park Rangers suffered a 0-2 loss to Bristol City.
Joe Aribo (Rangers): He scored another goal in the 84th min as his team defeated East Fife 3-0 to add to the season’s opener.
Scottish champions, Celtic, signs Afolabi
Promising Nigeria-eligible striker, Jonathan Afolabi, has ended speculation about his future after completing a transfer to Scottish champions Celtic.
A Republic of Ireland youth international, the 19-year-old was one of the outstanding players at the 2019 U19 EURO and was named in the official UEFA Team of the Tournament.
Afolabi, who was released by Southampton at the end of the 2018-19 campaign, was at Celtic Park to watch Celtic’s 2-1 extra-time League Cup win over Dunfermline Athletic on Saturday.
Commenting on the deal, Celtic manager Neil Lennon was quoted as saying by The Scotsman: ”He’s here. He’s a young lad from Southampton, we’ve signed him on a free transfer and he’s one for development.
“He’s on the cusp, so he’ll come in and train with us and we’ll get a good look at him in a couple of weeks.
“Then we’ll decide what we want to do in terms of where his progression is.
“He had a great tournament in the Euros. He’s raw, but we feel he has good potential.”
A product of St. Josephs Boys in Ireland, Afolabi has inked a two-year deal with Celtic.
Moses Daddy Simon (Nantes): The new signing was not considered when his club played out a goalless draw against Olympique Marseille.
Samuel Kalu and Josh Maja (Bordeaux): Introduced at the interval, former Sunderland striker, Maja levelled matters (1-1) with 20 mins left to play. His compatriot, Kalu, was also involved in the draw.
Henry onyekuru (AS Monaco): He made the starting line-up as and lasted 70mins when his team suffered 0-3 capitulation against Lyon.
Lille unlucky to lose to Amiens – Osimhen
Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen, believes Lille’s 1-0 loss away at Amiens on Saturday was not a true reflection of the game, positing that they deserved at least a point from the encounter.
Hoping to maintain a percent start to the season, the young forward led the line again for Lille but they were undone six minutes to half time when midfielder Boubakar Soumare received a straight red card making it a tall order for his side.
Despite being reduced to 10 men, the visitors kept their cool but were eventually broken twenty minutes from time when the VAR awarded Amiens a goal which meant Lille fell for the first time after two league outings.
Osimhen, who featured for the entire match duration and earned a game rating of 6.7, said that his side did enough to snatch at least a point but the numerical advantage gave the hosts a slight edge.
“It was a tough match for both teams, playing 10 men against 11 for more than 50 minutes was difficult but we kept our composure. In football these things happen so we must move on from it.
“Now we return to training and focus on the next task ahead because the league is a marathon and every moment counts for us,” Osimhen concluded.
Despite firing blanks, the 2015 FIFA U-17 golden boot winner remains in the top 5 scorers’ chart with 2 goals, one behind the trio of Memphis Depay, Moussa Dembele and Habib Diallo who all have 3 goals from 2 matches.
I’m mentally, physically ready for French League – Moses declares
Super Eagles winger, Moses Simon has declared he is ready to take on the challenge of the French Ligue 1 after completing a season long loan deal to Levante.
The 24-year-old told newsmen shortly after his announcement that he now wants to focus on the fresh start and help his new club achieve their season objectives.
“This is a new league for me but just like every new club I have joined in the past, I have always tried to give my best. This will not be an exception as I will also do well to help my club.
“Of course the French League is a new challenge for me but I have always shown my fighting spirit and would also do so here. I know it won’t be easy but I’m mentally and physically ready for the challenge,” Moses said.
The 24-year-old further praised the in flock of Eagles players into the French League this season, stating that it would be an upgrade for the national team ahead of the 2021 AFCON qualification matches.
Kingsley Ehizibue (FC Cologne): The Munich-born fullback was in action for 90 mins as his team suffered a 2-1 loss to VfL Wolfsburg.
The 24-year-old signed a four-year contract with FC Cologne in the off-season, which ended his stint with Dutch clubs. Ehizibue won 89 percent of his challenges, clocked up a joint top speed of 34km/hour and completed 80 percent of his dribbles.
Jamilu Collins (AS Paderborn): The Super Eagles left-back lasted the entire duration as the Bundesliga newcomers suffered a 3-2 loss against Bayer Leverkusen.
Collins racked up a game-high seven interceptions over the course of ninety minutes and made two clearances and one tackle.
Taiwo Awoniyi (Mainz 05): The Liverpool loanee played the last five mins of his team’s 3-0 loss to Freiburg.
Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal) & Ramon Azeez (Granada): Chukwueze’s sublime finish in the 73rd min gave the Yellow Submarine a 4-2 lead but the match ended in a 4-4 draw. Former U-20 skipper, Azeez played the last 21 min for the visitors.
Kenneth Omeruo and Chidoze Awaziem (Leganes): The duo were not in action as their club suffered a 0-1 loss at home to Osasuna.
Sylvester Igboun (FC Ufa): He scored a brace as his club defeated Rostov 2-0 on Sunday ast the Stadion Nefyanik. He scored the opener just before the interval
Peter Olayinka (Slavia Praha): He opened his season’s account in his team’s 3-0 win over SK Dynamo Ceské Budêjovivce.
The 23-year-old lanky forward started only his second game of the season as the visitors went in search of their 5th league victory of the new campaign.
Olayinka doubled his side’s lead on the 76th min before substitute Milan Škoda completed the thrashing six minutes from time.
Karim Adeyemi (FC Liefering): He put in a solid performance and scored in the 63rd min of his team’s 3-2 win over SV Horn.
Sunday Faleye (FC Wacker): The former Shooting Stars forward was a second half substitute when his team defeated FC junior Ooe 2-1.
David Okereke and Emmanuel Dennis Bonaventure (Club Brugge): The duo started the match but Bonaventure was substituted in the second half of their club’s goalless draw with Eupen.
Uche Agbo passes Gent medical
Super Eagles fringe defender, Uche Agbo has finally waved goodbye to Standard Liege of Belgium after passing a medical at KAA Gent who will be playing in the European club competition this season.
It could be recalled that Agbo had one-year contract left at Standard Liege before he decided to make the switch to Gent.
The defender who was on loan last season at Rayo Vallecano is presently in Gent where he is expected to sign the dotted lines this week.
A four-year contract is being proposed by the Belgian club for the player.
Recall that Moses Simon and Samuel Kalu are the Super Eagles stars to have played for the club last year and are presently plying their trade in French Ligue 1.
Iyayi’s brace lifts Dinamo Zagreb
Iyayi Believe Atiemwen scored a brace to secure a 2-1 win for his club away at NK Inter Zaprešic.
The 24-year-old was handed his fourth league start of the season with the visitors hoping to stretch their unbeaten run to five games following a perfect start to the campaign.
But it was the host who put their noses in front in the 8th minute when Borislav Tsonev put them 1-0 up with the impressive Iyayi however cancelling the lead four minutes to half time when he rounded off the goalkeeper before showing great composure to equalise for his side.
Marian Galic was then sent off five minutes after the restart having picked up his second booking with the visitors doubling their lead from the resulting free-kick as Iyayi headed home for 2-1 to record his 3rd league goal of the campaign.
Hilary Gong (Vitesse): He was missing as his team thrashed PEC Zwolle 3-0.
Ike Ugbo (Roda JC): The Chelsea loanee was introduced in the 46th min of the team’s 0-4 loss to FC Volendam.
Tosin Kehinde (Randers): The former Manchester United player was an unused substitute when his club suffered a 0-1 loss to FC Copenhagen.
Haruna Garba and Tunde Adeniji (Debrecen): Garba continued his rich vein of form with a solitary strike that earned his team a 3-2 win over Zalaegerszeg while his compatriot, Adeniji, was a non-playing substitute.
Ezekiel Henty (Puskas): He failed to score for the second consecutive week as his team fell 0-1 at Mezokovesd.
Eke Uzoma (Budapest Honved): He was cautioned in the 27th min as his team was beaten 3-1 by Varda SE.
Obinna Nwobodo (Ujpest): He operated as a makeshift striker when his team shared the spoils (1-1) with Paski SE.
Toluwalase Emmanuel Arokodare and Olaide Muhammed Badmus(Valmiera): The youngster shone at the middle of the pack when his club humbled Jelgava 3-1. His teammate, Badmus was benched for the duration of the match.
Chinonso Nnamdi, Obotu Elisha and Daniel Idowu (Daugavpils) & Lucky Opara, Stanley Nnanna, Chikezie Nwaorisa and Chidiebere Agita (Spartaks Jumala): Seven Nigerians were on display at the Stadions Celtnieks as Daugavpils suffered a 2-3 loss to Spartaks. Nnamdi and Idowu were on the score sheet while Elisha fired blank for Daugavpils. The quartet of Opara, Nnanna, Nwaorisa and Agita failed to score.
Kayode Olaleye (QNK Quang Nam) & Tony Agbaji (Nam Dinh): The veteran striker scored in the 3-2 defeat of Nam Dinh for whom former Lobi Stars forward, Agbaji, tasted action.
Chisom Egbuchulam (Suwon City): the former Enugu Rangers forward scored twice as his club suffered a 2-3 loss to Ansan Greeners.