Best Nigerian performances of the week
Rated as the most star-packed national team in Africa, Nigeria has one of the best pools of footballers outside Europe. This article compiles the best Nigerian footballers of the week (Nov 29 – Dec 5).
Here are the top 5 Nigerian performers of the week
1. Anthony Anthony Nwakaeme
At 32 years of age, Nigeria's Anthony Nwakaeme appears to be hitting a second prime in his 11-year professional career.
The Trabzonspor winger was in inspired form for his Turkish side, scoring and assisting another to lead them to a 2-0 win over mid-table side, Adana Demirspor.
Not only did Nwakaeme extend his tally to 6 goals and 6 assists, he also extended Trabzonspor's lead at the summit to 12 points, as the club chased their first league title since 1984.
Nwakaeme who already has a statue dedicated to his achievements would only go down as a legend among the Trabzon locals, but also in the whole of Turkish.
Since moving to the European nation three seasons ago, he has scored 39 goals and assisted 35 for Trabzonspor, and is currently Nigeria's most prolific player in that period.
Nwakaeme has only one national cap for Nigeria.
2. Tosin Aiyegun
Little known Switzerland-based winger, Tosin Aiyegun, was the most productive Nigerian player of the week, as he powered FC Zurich to four points clear at the top of the Super League table.
In just his first start of the season, after a 7-month injury layoff, Aiyegun scored twice and provided an assist as Zurich cruised to a comfortable 4-0 victory over basement boys, Luzern.
Born in Lagos, the 23-year-old is also eligible to represent neighbouring Benin Republic.
3. Joe Aribo
A player enjoying a new lease of life under new manager, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Joe Aribo has been one of Rangers' shining lights since losing fan favourite, Stephen Gerrard to Aston Villa.
The 25-year-old, who is being courted by some of the Premier League’s finest, scored the opener in a vital 3-0 win over Dundee that ensured they maintained good distance over reborn Celtic.
The rather fortuitous strike, which was aided by an heavy deflection, now has Aribo as the highest league scorer under the new boss.
Aribo's upturn in form has also coincides with his fortunes, as it was his left-footed cross that extended the Gers' lead after Ryan Sweeney inadvertently prodded into his own goal.
His total of 5 goals is just one behind last season's high, while he also has 4 assists to add to his name.
4. Chidera Ejuke
A player who can currently do no wrong, Chidera Ejuke has been one of the few positives in a turbulent season for CSKA Moscow.
Last season, the Red-Blues missed out on Europe altogether for the first time since the competition was rebranded in a woeful campaign that saw them finish 6th.
They haven't been any much better as they sit 5th on the Russian Premier League log, 10 points behind leaders, Zenit.
CSKA could have been in a worse position if not for the brilliance of Chidera Ejuke, who is their top scorer with 4 goals and top playmaker with 3 assists.
The Nigerian proved vital again over the weekend, as his dazzling solo run in the 74th minute was the source of CSKA's lone goal in their win over brave Krylia Sovetov at the Samara Arena.
Ejuke was recently named as the third-best dribbler in the world and the best in Africa. His 58 dribbles this season is 23 more than the next best dribbler in Russia.
5. Francis Uzoho
The final Nigerian player worthy of commendation is Francis Uzoho whop kept a second consecutive clean sheet for Nicosia on their way to a 1-0 victory over AEL Limassol.
With Uzoho between the sticks, Nicosia have now kept as much clean sheets in their last two games as they did in their first 9 games of the season.
Uzoho is filling in for the injured veteran number one, Fabiano, and is certain to leave manager, Henning Berg, with a selection migraine as Nicosia have won both league games in which he has featured.
Thanks to Uzoho's brilliance, the Cypriot side now boast the best defense in the division. The 23-year-old will have his eye on the Eagles' number one spot if injured Maduka Okoye fails to recover quickly enough.
Other Notable Nigerian top performers of the week.
- Alhassan Yusuf
- Wilfred Ndidi
- Victor Moses
- Taiwo Awoniyi