Record-breakers: Victor Osimhen, Terem Moffi set new standards for Nigerian strikers in Europe

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The 2022/2023 season has witnessed a remarkable surge in productivity from Nigerian attackers across multiple European leagues.

Among these rising stars, Victor Osimhen and Terem Moffi have emerged as the standout performers in Serie A and Ligue 1, respectively.

In light of their incredible achievements, takes a closer look at the Nigerian players who have set records for the highest number of goals in a single season within each of Europe’s top five leagues.

Victor Osimhen: Serie A – 25 goals

Victor Osimhen has set a new benchmark for Nigerian players in Serie A, surpassing the previous record held by Simy Nwankwo.

The Nigerian international, representing Napoli, has not only broken the record but has also become the highest-scoring Nigerian in any of Europe’s top five leagues for a single campaign.

Osimhen’s exceptional form has seen him net an impressive 25 league goals this season, solidifying his position as Nigeria’s leading scorer in the Italian top flight.

Furthermore, his feat surpasses the marks set by iconic African strikers Samuel Eto’o and George Weah, making him Africa’s highest-scoring star in a single Serie A season.

Osimhen has been nominated for the prestigious Serie A Best Striker of the Year award, and he remains in contention to become the first African player to win the league’s top scorer award.

His achievements extend beyond Napoli, as he also holds the record for Crotone’s all-time leading goalscorer and currently ranks fourth in the Serie A scoring charts this season.

Terem Moffi: Ligue 1 – 17 goals

Terem Moffi
Terem Moffi

Terem Moffi has similarly made waves in Ligue 1, breaking the long-standing record set by Victor Ikpeba for the most goals scored by a Nigerian player in a single season.

Ikpeba’s tally of 16 goals in the 1997/1998 season for AS Monaco had remained unchallenged until Moffi’s arrival.

The former Lorient star, now plying his trade at OGC Nice, has impressively found the back of the net on 17 occasions this term, surpassing Ikpeba’s record.

Moffi narrowly missed out on breaking the record last season with 14 goals but has now cemented his place in Nigerian football history as the highest-scoring Nigerian in a single Ligue 1 campaign.

Yakubu Aiyegbeni: Premier League – 17 goals

Yakubu Aiyegbeni
Yakubu Aiyegbeni

In the English Premier League, Yakubu Aiyegbeni is Nigeria’s most prolific goalscorer, having netted an impressive 95 goals for four clubs.

Aiyegbeni’s most memorable season came in 2011/2012 when he struck 17 times for Blackburn Rovers, setting the record for the highest number of goals by a Nigerian player in any of Europe’s top five leagues at the time.

However, Simy Nwankwo surpassed his record in the 2020/2021 season, and most recently, Victor Osimhen has overtaken both players.

Christopher Ohen: La Liga – 17 goals

Christopher Ohen
Christopher Ohen

Turning our attention to La Liga, Christopher Ohen holds the distinction of scoring the most goals in a single campaign among Nigerian players in the Spanish top flight.

During his time at Compostela, Ohen registered an impressive 42 league goals, with 17 coming in the 1996/1997 season.

Notably, Ikechukwu Uche remains Nigeria’s all-time leading scorer in La Liga, having accumulated 43 goals across various clubs.

Taiwo Awoniyi: Bundesliga – 15 goals

Taiwo Awoniyi
Taiwo Awoniyi

In the German Bundesliga, Taiwo Awoniyi made his mark by surpassing the record set by Jonathan Akpoborie.

Akpoborie had previously been the highest-scoring Nigerian player in the German top flight since the 1997/1998 season, amassing 60 goals throughout his career.

However, Awoniyi’s stellar performances for Union Berlin last season saw him net 15 goals in 31 games, allowing him to claim the record.

Awoniyi’s exploits garnered attention from the Premier League, and he subsequently secured a lucrative move to Nottingham Forest, where he continued his goal-scoring form, helping his side avoid relegation with ten crucial goals.