PAGE Why WACO Academy didn’t benefit from Omeruo, Rabiu’s transfer to Europe 20 19 RED-HOT SPORTS NEWS Email: email@example.com Saturday, August 1, 2020 How Super Eagles players performed in Europe’s top leagues By Olusola ‘Jide @jide_olusola E very Nigerian player’s dream is to play professional football in Europe to earn a call up to the senior national team, the Super Eagles and also make for himself money in foreign currencies. Over the years, countless numbers of Nigerian players have found their ways into European clubs. While many have been lucky to have achieved some forms of success on and off the pitch, some others are struggling to make the grade in their respective clubs. takes a cursory look at the performances of Super Eagles players in their various clubs following the completion of most of the top European leagues in the 2019/20 football season. Trust Sports, ENGLAND In the English Premier League, sadly no Super Eagles player won the league as none of them is playing for the champions, Liverpool. However, Leicester City’s duo of and narrowly lost the Champions League slot to Ighalo’s United on the last day of action to pick up a Europa League ticket. Iheanacho as a forward had a decent season where he scored 5 goals in 20 appearances for the Foxes while Ndidi managed two goals in 32 games as Leicester finished 5th on the table. Although he failed to win a Champions League ticket, Ndidi finished the 2019-20 English Premier League season as the joint top tackler alongside Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka. who plies his trade with Everton had a less satisfactory season. His club ended the season in 11th position and won’t be playing European football next season. The youngster played 25 times but scored just one goal, all season. Watford striker, will not forget the just concluded season in a hurry. His season was plagued with injuries as he only played 5 times in all competition as a substitute without a goal. He played for only 65 minutes all season. If he remains in the club, he will be playing in the Championship following his club’s relegation from the Premier League. before his move to Rangers donned the colours of Brighton and Hove Albion who ended the league on 16th position. He failed to play a single minute for the club this past season and was loaned out to Championship side, Wigan Athletic. Balogun has since joined Glasgow Rangers in the Scottish League. Versatile Super Eagles and West Brom player, was named Championship Player of the Month for April and won the club’s Player and Goal of the Season awards. He played 47 games across all Kelechi Ihenacho Ndidi Wilfred Alex Iwobi competitions for the side, scoring five goals to ensure the Baggies’ return to the English top-flight. Another worthy of mention is the Ex-Super Eagles frontman, though on loan helped Manchester United qualify for the Champions League. He played 11 times in the league without a single goal but scored five times in Cup competitions. Omeruo won a Man of the Match when he played against Real Sociedad which was the game he scored his only league goal. Granada midfielder, played a minimal role as his team will be playing playoffs to qualify for Europa League. Azeez played 14 times, scoring 2 goals in the process to secure a 7th place finish for Granada. Meanwhile, former Eaglets captain Kelechi Nwakali is a happy man after helping his LaLiga 2 club Huesca gain promotion to the LaLiga. Although he was delayed by visa hitches, Nwakali made five appearances with a goal in the Secunda. with the Yellow Submarines with 20 appearances scoring 3 goals and creating 2 assists in the process. Defenders and were unable to help their club, Leganes remain in top-flight football. Awaziem played 21 times but didn’t score or assist a goal. He, however, finished the season with 10 yellow cards just as his defence partner, Omeruo played 22 times with only one goal to show for that. Isaac Success Chidozie Awaziem Kenneth Omeruo Odion Ramon Ighalo, Azeez GERMANY The Bundesliga just like the Premier League and La Liga ended without a Nigerian player winning the league as Bayern Munich emerged champions. Union Berlin forward, was responsible for 3 goals out of 41 scored by his team. He also assisted in 2 other goals in 14 appearances for the club. Mainz 05 striker, played 12 times for his club to remain in top-flight football, scoring just a goal. However, suffered Bundesliga relegation with FC Paderborn following a 1-0 loss away at Ujah’s Union Berlin. Collins played the whole 90 minutes of the game but could not stop Paderborn’s 20th league defeat of the season. SPAIN Anthony In Spain, the story is no different with no Nigerian player winning the La Liga as Real Madrid emerged champions. Ujah Leon Balogun Oghenekaro Etebo who is on loan at Getafe from Stoke City will have a season to forget as he played just 8 times scoring a goal. He will not be playing in Europe as the Madrid based club ended the season on 8th position. The Super Eagles poster boy, will have another chance to showcase his talent to the world when Villarreal kick starts their Europa League campaign next season. Chukwueze ended the league Although he failed to win a Champions League ticket, Ndidi finished the 201920 English Premier League season as the joint top tackler alongside Manchester United’s Aaron WanBissaka Taiwo Awoniyi Jamilu Collins Samuel Chukwueze Semi Ajayi Continued on page 20
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