EuroEagles Review is a weekly series evaluating the performances of Nigerian footballers in Europe.
Is Osimhen home and hosed?
20:21 - 21.05.2023
The Nigerian unloaded his annoyance at his manager for taking him off against the Nerazzurri, demonstrating his ambition to end top scorer ahead of Lautaro Martinez.
Well, the Nigerian was withdrawn just after the hour mark at Bologna, but the reaction could not be more different.
Osimhen had netted twice on Sunday afternoon, responding in style to Lautaro Martinez’s goal in Inter’s 3-2 triumph over Atalanta the previous day to take him to 25 Serie A goals in 2022-23.
Unless the Nerazzurri frontman scores four times on the final day at Torino, the Super Eagle would be this year’s stand-alone Capocannoniere. If the Champions League finalist finds the back of the net five times in Turin, he supplants Osimhen.
Both possibilities happen if the Partenopei centre-forward fires blanks against cellar-dwelling Sampdoria, an unlikely outcome.
Thus, Osimhen appears primed to become the first player since Zlatan Ibrahimovic (2008-09) to win the Scudetto and finish atop the scoring charts in the same season.
Surely Lautaro will not catch the Napoli striker now.
11:11 - 08.05.2023
Euro Eagles Review is a weekly series evaluating the performances of Nigerian footballers in Europe.
Safety for Iwobi
Sean Dyche had reiterated pre-game that his Everton side had found ways to win without Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and the manager desired another strong performance and outcome when Bournemouth rocked up to Goodison Park on the final day.
It took a stunning Abdoulaye Doucoure strike to preserve the Toffees’ league status, as they continue to be Premier League ever-presents.
The attacking midfielder was one of two advanced midfielders in Everton’s 3-4-2-1 system, with Demarai Gray deployed as the makeshift striker.
Survival in round 38 continues the Merseyside club’s continued top-flight involvement, and next year could be Iwobi’s ninth at this level.
What next for Iheanacho and Ndidi?
The Premier League’s state of play at the bottom meant a Nigerian was expected to go down on the last day.
While Iwobi survived, Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi were not quite fortunate.
‘Seniorman’ set up Harvey Barnes for Leicester City’s opening goal in the eventual 2-1 success over West Ham United, minutes after seeing a close-range shot just miss the target, to put the Foxes outside the bottom three with Everton falling to 18th.
However, Doucoure’s stunning finish in Everton’s game was all it took for Dean Smith’s men to suffer the ignominy of relegation only seven years after the club’s unanticipated Premier League triumph.
18:39 - 28.05.2023
Kelechi Iheanacho grabbed an assist on the final day of the season, by it was not enough to stop Leicester City from being relegated from the Premier League
As for Ndidi, who was sidelined because of a muscle injury, you wonder what next for the defensive midfielder whose stock has fallen in the last 24 months.
Previously considered one of the best in his position, the anchorman may now have to make do with football in the Championship, with persistent injury worries probably not convincing potential suitors over his availability.
Iheanacho’s goalscoring despite never truly sealing a starting role at Leicester suggests we have not seen the last of ‘Seniorman’ in the top flight.
21:47 - 19.05.2023
With Taiwo Awoniyi, Alex Iwobi, Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho facing decisive Premier League denouements, we examine their survival prospects and rank each player’s chances of securing top-flight moves if their current teams go down.
Welcome to the Premier League Adebayo and Osho
Elijah Adebayo and Gabriel Osho played significant roles in Luton Town’s Championship Playoff final victory over Coventry City on Saturday, with the forward featuring for 106 minutes while Osho was replaced four minutes from time with penalties approaching.
Adebayo was directly involved in Luton’s goal after 23 minutes, running onto Alfie Doughty’s long ball forward before setting up Jordan Clark after twisting and turning Kyle McFadzean.
The frontman missed a glit-edged chance to make it two — failing to hit the target from 12 yards with Coventry goalkeeper Ben Wilson off his line — and had one disallowed after a handball but the Playoff winners did not rue those two near-goals.
Rob Edwards’ men are far from perfect, and their long-ball approach seems overly basic for Premier League football. But the Hatters will not care, with a return to the Big Time enough excitement to last them the entire summer.
Troost-Ekong stuns old friends in Salerno.
William Troost-Ekong probably did not expect to score a 96th-minute winner when he made his way into the Udinese penalty area in Salernitana’s penultimate Serie A game of 2022-23.
However, the centre-back connected to Junior Sambia’s cross from the left flank and found the top-left corner to score his first-ever goal in Italy’s top division.
16:19 - 27.05.2023
Troost-Ekong finally got on the scoresheet for Salernitana and it was a special goal
The goal completed the Granata’s comeback, having trailed 2-0 after the game’s opening half-hour. The fact that it came against old side was equally pleasing for the central defender.
Chukwueze’s forgettable outing in Vallecas
Villarreal went into gameweek 37 still in with a chance of making next season’s Champions League, but a 2-1 defeat by Rayo Vallecano put paid to that ambition.
It was a tough outing for Chukwueze, who completed one dribble from three attempts and lost six duels from seven altogether.
00:26 - 09.04.2023
The Super Eagles star put Real Madrid to the sword on Easter weekend, and is thriving within Quique Setien's system at Villarreal
Withdrawn on the hour, the wide attacker’s drought without a goal or assist in LaLiga stands at nine games, as he has failed to directly contribute since that brace at Real Madrid in early April.
The Yellow Submarine could have cut the gap on fourth-placed Real Sociedad (who lost 2-1 at Atletico Madrid) to two points heading into the final gameweek but were beaten by Rayo.
It would be remiss to not celebrate Peter Olayinka, who penned a heartfelt tribute to Slavia Prague.
The forward is departing the Czech heavyweights after five years and showed gratitude to the club after his final appearance before officially joining Red Star Belgrade on July 1.
Olayinka won three Czech First League titles in five years at the club.