The English Premiership is the biggest sports franchise in the sporting world with global viewing audience scattered over the entire continents of the world. It presently consists of twenty teams that are expected to play 38 games each totaling 380 games from August to May each year.
The English Premiership has seen the influx of Non-British citizens especially Nigerians over the last couple of years. Their positive influence cannot be adequately emphasized considering the fact that they remain a major force in world football. Below is a profile of the top 5 Nigerian footballers plying their trade in English Premier League clubs.
- Dickson Etuhu
Dickson Etuhu is an attacking Midfielder with Fulham football club of England. An integral part of their first team, he helped the club reach the final of the Europa Cup in 2009, where they narrowly lost to Athletico Madrid of Spain.
He is also a member of the senior national team of Nigeria- the Super Eagles of Nigeria. It is interesting to note that Dickson Etuhu participated in the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosted by South Africa and had a fairly good tournament.
- Victor Anichebe
This Everton attacking maestro has always been a key member of David Moyes team until injury sustained during Nigeria’s build up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup hampered his progress. He was a member of the Silver winning 2008 Olympic Football team that represented Nigeria at Beijing. Victor Anichebe has been used largely as a sub over the past three seasons, due to the presence of established stars like Luis Saha and Yakubu Aiyegbeni in the Everton front-line.
- Yakubu Aiyegbeni
Love him or hate him, Yakubu Aiyegbeni deserves some mention among the top Nigerian stars in the English Premier League. He has previously played for Portsmouth F.C and Middlesbrough. His appearance for Everton has however been restricted to the bench in the 2010/2011 season due a dip in form.
Yakubu earned the wrath of Nigerians at the last FIFA World Cup when he made the biggest miss of the tournament in Nigeria’s third and final match against South Korea. Even though he later scored through a penalty in that same match, Nigerians back home have not forgiven him for a miss that would probably have seen Nigeria through to the next round of the World Cup.
- Osaze Odewengie
Osaze Odewengie set tongues wagging when he left Russian Club Lokomotiv Moscow for Premiership side-West Bromwich Albion in 2010. He became an instant revelation in the Premiership as he scored crucial goals in the win against Arsenal, Newcastle United and West Ham United. Osaze whose father is a Nigeria and mother Russian, opted to play for the Super Eagles and was selected for the 2004 African Nations Cup where he scored a brace against South Africa in one of the group matches. He also won silver with the Olympic team at the 2008 Olympic Games held in Beijing and recently played at the 2010 FIFA World Cup where Nigeria got bundled out in the First round.
- Obinna Nsofor
Obinna Nsofor is a striker with the English Premiership side- West Ham United. He is presently on loan from Italian side- Inter Milan where he has been for the past three seasons. He also played on loan for Malaga F.C of Spain.