Osimhen, Durosinmi, and the top 10 Nigerian footballers to watch in 2024

Osimhen, Durosinmi, and the top 10 Nigerian footballers to watch in 2024

  • 2023 has been an excellent year for several Nigerian stars, and next year promises to be even better.
  • EaglesTracker highlights ten players who could make 2024 memorable for themselves and millions of fans worldwide.

10. Rafiu Durosinmi

In only two full years in Europe, Durosinmi has already excelled in the Czech Republic for MFK Karvina and Viktoria Plzen.

Six goals and six assists in just 11 league games place the 20-year-old striker on the transfer wishlist of several English and German clubs.

Eintracht Frankfurt have reportedly won the race for Durosinmi's signature, and the Box2Box academy product is set to complete a move to the German Bundesliga in January.

On the back of the youngster's displays so far, 2024 promises to be a big year for Raifu.

9. Akor Adams

Many fans knew little about Akor Adams until Montpellier signed him from Lillestrom in the summer of 2023.

He needed little time to hug the major headlines in France after scoring seven goals in his first 15 French Ligue 1 matches.

Adams is still adapting to the peculiarities of the French top flight, but he has shown he has the guts and grit to excel there.

If he continues in the same vein, then 2024 could be set to be an even more special year for the powerful and pacy striker.

AC Milan are already linked with a move for him, and with his pace and power, the 23-year-old could become a big hit in Serie A if that transfer materialises.

8. Calvin Bassey

Bassey was rated as one of the best defensive prospects in Europe when he helped Rangers reach the final of the UEFA Europa League in 2022. He was even named in the Team of the Tournament.

A big-money move to Ajax followed the next summer, but he failed to settle in Amsterdam, and a dream transfer turned into a Dutch nightmare.

Fulham came to Bassey's rescue in August 2023, and manager, Marco Silva seems to have turned him into a good Premier League centre back.

Bassey is beginning to get the hang of his new position as his national team manager, Jose Peseiro has bought into the transformation.

With his pace, power, and defensive nous, Bassey could play a crucial role for the Super Eagles as Nigeria look to claim a fourth continental triumph in Ivory Coast.

7. Gift Orban

Orban got tongues wagging after going on a brilliant scoring run following his below-the-radar move to KAA Gent in January 2023.

A spectacular 2023 saw the youngster score the fastest hat-trick in the history of all European club competitions, make the transfer wish list of the continent's top clubs, and earn a first Super Eagles call-up, despite not making an appearance.

Orban has slowed down a bit towards the end of the year, but with the AFCON not on his schedule, everything is set for him to focus on club duties and return to banging the goals before a possible transfer to the English Premier League.

6. Taiwo Awoniyi

After scoring a career-high 15 goals in 31 Bundesliga games to help Union Berlin qualify for Europe, Awoniyi signed for Nottingham Forest ahead of the 2022/2023 season.

Nottingham Forest, having just been promoted to the Premier League, were the bookmakers' favourite to get relegated straight back to the Championship at the end of that campaign.

Awoniyi did not get the memo, though, as the former Liverpool signing netted ten crucial goals that helped the Reds avoid the drop.

The 26-year-old striker already has four goals in ten appearances this season and has become Nottingham Forest's main man in attack.

Although, he will miss the AFCON in January due to injury, he could be set for a repeat of last season's excellence as Nottingham Forest look to improve on last season's performance in the English Premier League.

5. Terem Moffi

Moffi was the Revelation of the 2020/21 Season after netting 14 goals in his debut campaign in the French topflight.

He joined OGC Nice initially on loan in January 2023 and permanently in the summer. Since then, he has managed 15 goals and 7 assists in 36 appearances for the Eagles.

While he has been decent, Moffi definitely has more in his locker to offer.

Should the goals keep flowing for the 24-year-old forward, he could lead Nice to challenge PSG for the league title in 2024.

4. Igoh Ogbu

Ogbu has been one of Nigeria's best defenders in 2023, and it shocked many that he was not on the country's provisional list for the AFCON 2023 in Ivory Coast.

A no-nonsense tackler with excellent defensive nous, the former Flying Eagles centre-back helped Slavia Prague fight for the league title last season, and he is repeating the feat this term.

In November, Ogbu made Romelu Lukaku and co look like novice strikers as he guided Slavia to keep a clean sheet in a historic 2-0 win over Jose Mourinho's AS Roma in the Europa League.

2024 could be the year Ogbu makes his Super Eagles debut and, from there, maybe become a regular in the side.

3. Wilfred Ndidi

A regular feature for Leicester City since he arrived from KRC Genk in January 2017, Ndidi was one of Nigeria's most consistent performers in the Premier League.

Unfortunately, Leicester City were relegated to the Championship at the end of the 2022/2023 season. Instead of losing his head and jumping ship to another club, the Super Eagles midfielder stayed with the Foxes and even adapted to a role change in midfield.

He is enjoying the most productive spell of his career, contributing two goals and five assists in 20 EFL Championship games so far this season.

Back to full fitness and dynamic as ever, Ndidi is poised to lead Nigeria to AFCON glory in Ivory Coast, and guide Leicester City back to the English top flight in what could be an unforgettable 2024 for the 27-year-old.

2. Victor Osimhen

Who better to watch out for more than the reigning Africa Footballer of the Year?

Osimhen had a fantastic 2023, winning several individual honours after leading Napoli to a historic third-ever Scudetto title and the club's first since the legendary Diego Maradona did it 33 years ago.

An interesting 2024 awaits Osimhen as he leads Nigeria to the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast in January, after which he prepares for a summer that could see him move to one of Europe's biggest clubs.

Success on both fronts could place him among the frontrunners for another tilt at the Best Player award again.

1. Victor Boniface

Victor Boniface heads into 2024 with incredible momentum: he has ten goals and seven assists in the German Bundesliga so far this season, and has claimed the Rookie Player of the Month a record four times. 

He is the most in-form Nigerian player heading into 2024, and could play a key role for the Super Eagles heading to the AFCON 2023 in Ivory Coast.

Now valued at €40 million, the former Union Saint-Gilloise forward is being tipped as Nigeria's next €100 million forward after namesake, Victor Osimhen.

Boniface could hit that mark next year should he lead Bayer Leverkusen to success in the German topflight or the Europa League and Nigeria to glory at the AFCON. He has already been linked with possible moves to top clubs like Real Madrid and Chelsea.

His form to end 2023, the potential big move on the cards, as well as the possibility of becoming Nigeria's next World Class star, and maybe even knocking Osimhen off his perch makes him our most exciting player to watch out for in 2024.

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