State Of Top Nigerian Players Abroad As Major Leagues In Europe End

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The 2023-2024 season is over in most major leagues in Europe and ended favourably for some top Nigerian players abroad, but not so favourably for others.

Starting from England, Nottingham Forest, the home for two Nigerian top players, Taiwo Awoniyi and Ola Aina, survived relegation for the second successive season.

While a player like Awoniyi will be excited that his team survived relegation, his performance which was hampered by injuries won’t be exciting to reflect on. He managed to score 6 goals in 20 games for Forest this season.

The survival of Nottingham Forest meant the drop of Luton Town which houses three Nigerian players, Gabriel Osho, Elijah Adebayo and Fred Onyedinma. They are all back to the Championship a season after tasting Premier League football.

Alex Iwobi scored five goals and provided three assists, while Calvin Bassey scored one goal in 29 games as the two Nigerian players helped Fulham finish 13th in the league table.

In Italy, goalkeeper Maduka Okoye was one of the biggest revelations as he came back from being benched consistently to occupy the first spot at Udinese.

Despite his fine form, Udinese are just a point away from the relegation zone with a game left to play before the 2023-2024 season ends in Serie A.

Note that Isaac Success is another Nigerian player plying his trade at the club. Unlike Okoye, Success is yet to be a big success at Udinese.

Meanwhile, Samuel Chukwueze was absent in AC Milan’s 3-1 defeat to Torino as he is on the verge of ending his debut season in Serie A with an injury which could keep him off Super Eagles of Nigeria’s 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against South Africa on June 7 and against Benin Republic on June 10.

As for Ademola Lookman, he has successfully helped Atalanta to qualify for the UEFA Champions League as they prepare to take on unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League final on Wednesday.

Note that Victor Osimhen who has struggled with fitness issues this season is on the verge of ending this campaign with an injury as his club, Napoli, will end the campaign outside the top seven.

In the Netherlands, Chuba Akpom ended the season with 11 goals and three assists as Ajax ended their disappointing 2023-2024 season booking a place for next season’s Europa League.

In Denmark, former Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministry (MFM) striker, Stephen Odey managed to score four goals and provided two assists to help his club, Randers escape relegation.

In Germany, Victor Boniface ended the season as strongly as he started it as he scored a goal in Bayer Leverkusen’s 2-1 win over FC Augsburg which made them the first club in the history of the German Bundesliga to finish the league season without a defeat.

After conquering the league for the first time in their history, Bayer Leverkusen have the chance of winning the Europa League on June 22 and the DFB-POKAL on June 25.

Note that Boniface ended his debut season at Bayer Leverkusen with 14 goals and nine assists in 23 league games, a performance that earned him the Rookie of the Season award.

His countryman at the club, Nathan Tella contributed five goals and provided two assists to Bayer Leverkusen’s successful league campaign.

In Scotland, Cyriel Dessers and Leon Balogun were only able to help Rangers finish second behind league champions Celtic. Dessers ended his debut season at Rangers with 16 goals and four assists. He has a chance of helping Rangers win the FA Cup against Celtic on Saturday.

In Turkey, Paul Onuachu is just a game away from helping his club, Trabzonspor to secure a Europa Conference League spot. He has scored 15 league goals for Trabzonspor and could add one more goal in their final league match next weekend.

In Greece, William Troost-Ekong who is still battling to retain to full fitness after undergoing surgery ended the season with the Greek Super League title with PAOK FC. The 30-year-old centre-back played only ten league games throughout the season.