Top Ten: Osimhen, Godwin, Moffi, and the Nigerian Footballers to watch in 2023

Top Ten: Osimhen, Godwin, Moffi, and the Nigerian Footballers to watch in 2023

  • The year twenty-twenty-two was a memorable one for many Nigerian footballers despite the Super Eagles falling at the AFCON and failing to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

In 2022, Victor Osimhen became Nigeria's all-time highest goalscorer in the Italian Serie A. Calvin Bassey became Nigeria's most expensive defender ever. Cyriel Dessers finished as the top scorer of the inaugural edition of the Europa Conference League. And Moses Simon powered Nantes to a first cup triumph in two decades.

Still, 2023 promises to be even more rewarding for Nigerian football and footballers.

EaglesTracker presents the top ten players to watch in the new year.

10. Igoh Ogbu & Akor Adams (Lillestrom SK)

Former Gombe United youngster Igoh Ogbu, 22, has finally become a mainstay in defence at Lillestrom after struggling at Rosenborg, Lavenger, and Sogndal.

Ogbu's compatriot and teammate at Lillestrom SK Akor Adams, also 22, has set the Norwegian top flight on fire with six goals in 15 league games.

Both looks set to make more impact in the Eliteserien in 2023.

9. Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk)

Despite winning the Belgian Golden Shoe in 2022 following a prolific return, Paul Onuachu failed to secure a move away from the Jupiler Pro League.

The former FC Midtjylland star did not let that disappointment dampen his enthusiasm, though, as he has already hit 13 goals in 15 league matches this term.

Onuachu has shown time and again that he is no one-season wonder and 2023 could be the year the 28-year-old seal a big-money transfer to one of Europe's top-five leagues.

8. Ibrahim Olawoyin (Ankara Keçiörengücü)

Olawoyin moved from Rangers International in the NPFL straight to Turkish second-division side Ankara Keçiörengücü in 2021 and has been an instant hit.

The exciting 25-year-old winger is already being linked with moves to teams in the Turkish Super Lig and 2023 could be the year that the move materialises.

7. Alhassan Yusuf (Royal Antwerp FC)

Alhassan Yusuf's talent has never been in doubt with the Kano-born midfielder winning the Allsvenskan Newcomer of the Year award in his first season in Europe.

The 22-year-old has seen his profile shoot through the roof since joining Royal Antwerp in 2021 and was close to earning his first Super Eagles call-up at the tail-end of last year.

If Yusuf continues his upward trajectory, 2023 could be the year the Michael Essien-esque midfielder kicks off his international career with the three-time African champions.

6. Saviour Godwin (Casa Pia AC)

Saviour Godwin made his Super Eagles debut in November in Nigeria's friendly 2-1 defeat to Algeria in Oran after excelling for Casa Pia in the Portuguese first division.

The 26-year-old winger's trickery and eye for goal have placed him on the radar of several top clubs in Europe, including Bundesliga campaigners Hoffenheim.

Will 2023 be the year Godwin seals a move to a club in one of Europe's top five leagues and becomes a regular in the Super Eagles?

5. Victor Boniface (Royale Union Saint-Gilloise)

Tagged the 'new Romelu Lukaku', Victor Boniface is building a solid reputation for himself in Belgium as an exciting forward and a natural goal poacher.

Boniface has three goals and three assists in 15 league games for RUSG and his three strikes in six Europa League matches helped Les Unionistes reach the knockout round of the competition for the first time in their history.

It seems only a matter of time before the 22-year-old earns himself the attention of Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro.

4. Alex Iwobi (Everton FC)

After a rather forgetful outing with the Super Eagles at the Africa Cup of Nations in January, Alex Iwobi was at an all-time low for his country and club.

But the former Arsenal man turned it all around at Everton, becoming Nigeria's most productive and consistent performer in the English Premier League in 2022.

Now a fan favourite at Goodison Park, Iwobi could become even more crucial for the Toffees and the Super Eagles in the new year.

3. Ademola Lookman (Atalanta BC)

After Ademola Lookman excelled on loan at Leicester City, it surprised many to see the winger snub the Premier League for a move to the Italian Serie A to join Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio.

And what a dream start it has been for Lookman, with the former Everton ace netting seven Serie A goals and providing two assists in his first 15 games for the Goddess.

Atalanta will be banking on Lookman in the first half of 2023 to continue his excellent form and help the club push for an unlikely Serie A title tilt.

2. Terem Moffi (FC Lorient)

Only 23, Terem Moffi is already Nigeria's third most prolific player in Ligue 1 history with 32 goals - only behind John Utaka (59) and Victor Ikpeba (55).

This season alone, Moffi has ten goals in 15 league matches for FC Lorient bettered only by the PSG duo of Kylian Mbappe (13) and Neymar (11).

Moffi is showing no sign of slowing down any time soon but can the Super Eagles striker outgun his rivals to finish as Ligue 1's top marksman at the end of the campaign?

1. Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli)

Twenty-twenty-two was Victor Osimhen's year. The Napoli forward recovered spectacularly from a freak cheek-skull injury to finish the year as the Nigerian with the most goals in Serie A history.

With 24 goals for club and country, Osimhen also ended 2022 as the most prolific Nigerian in Europe.

The former Lille lad sits atop the Serie A scorer's chart with nine goals and is powering Napoli's hunt for a first league title in three decades.

2023 can get even bigger for Osimhen as a Scudetto win could open the door for a record-breaking transfer to one of Europe's biggest clubs.

So much football to anticipate in 2023!

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