The second league fixture of the English Premier League, EPL, kicks off tonight, August 19, 2016, as Manchester United take on Southampton at the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester.
The likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Sofiane Fegouli and many more stars who just came to the EPL are expected to heighten the excitement of the league.
Playing in top European football leagues is one, but playing and making a mark in the league is a different kettle of fish. This is most especially in the EPL which is believed to be toughest league for any player to make a mark.
The reasons are not far fetched. The style of football in the EPL is dynamic due to influx of players from different continents; it is more competitive, according to many analysts, and the pace of football in the EPL is faster than other European leagues.
Despite the odds against non European players, especially African players, to shine in the EPL considering the aforementioned reasons, WuzupNaija brings to you 5 Nigerian players many believe are capable of making big impression in the EPL this season…..
Ahmed Musa has a big season ahead of him following a mouthwatering £18m summer move from CSKA Moscow to Leicester City.
Thirteen goals and four assists were a respectable return for Musa in the Russian League last season and if he can replicate such form in the EPL, he could be another star for Leicester City alongside Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez. So far in his Leicester career he has scored twice in four games.
Kelechi Iheanacho has signed a new two-year contract extension with Manchester City to extend his stay at the club until 2021, the Premier League side announced on Thursday.
The 19-year-old established himself in the City first team last season, scoring 14 times in all competitions including eight goals in 26 Premier League outings.
He also took his maiden steps in the Champions League—making four appearances as City registered their best ever finish in the competition, a semi-final berth.
This season, much is expected of the teenage hitman under Pep Guardiola, with the forward tipped to progress and develop his game under the tutelage of the Spanish coach.
Many football pundits believe Iheanacho has what it takes to blossom this season.
The Nigerian International already made an impact against Sunderland last week, when he pressured Black Cats debutant Paddy McNair into scoring an own goal to give the Citizens a 2-1 victory in Guardiola’s first match.
It is hope Iheanacho would continue to give his best whenever he is called upon to play for the Citizens this season.
The Nigeria youth international, who captained the Under-17 squad to World Cup success in 2015, officially joined Arsenal first week of August from the Diamond Football Academy.
Nwakali, 18, signed a five-year deal and broke the news via his official Twitter account.
Wenger had to fight off competition from the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea for his signature after first impressing at the Under-17 World Cup.
Though reports say the attacking midfielder could be sent away from North London to Ajax to gain some crucial first-team experience.
But Ajax have yet to respond to Arsenal’s proposal but the report claims Nwakali will be offered to another Dutch club if they decline.
It is believed that if the Nigerian youngster eventually makes the first team of Arsenal he would be one of the young talents to look out for this season.
Nigerian international Alex Iwobi, who started Arsenal’s first league match this season against Liverpool, graduated to the Arsenal first team under Arsene Wenger’s guidance in October last year.
He scored twice, provided two assists and won one man-of-the match award in 13 EPL games last season.
So much is expected from Iwobi this season considering that his impressive performances last season relegated Theo Walcott to the bench.
Many Arsenal fans believe the Nigerian international has garnered enough experience in the last couple of years to be a regular starter in Arsenal. A lot of expectations is on the young lad but we hope Iwobi would be able to justify the faith coach Wenger has in him this season.