PulseSports30: Sikiru Alimi tops Moses Simon as Osayi-Samuel comes in at 24

PulseSports30 21-25 ranking

PulseSports30: Sikiru Alimi tops Moses Simon as Osayi-Samuel comes in at 24

Pulse Sports Team 07:28 - 18.06.2024

It is that time of the year again as PulseSports30 returns to celebrate the best Nigerian players of the 2023/2024 season.

PulseSports30 is an annual football ranking that celebrates the 30 best-performing Nigerian footballers from across the globe.

PulseSports30 makes a return for a third year, recognising the 30 best-performing Nigerian footballers from the 2023/2024 football season.

As a non-discriminatory annual ranking, PulseSports30 considers footballers of Nigerian heritage who performed excellently either in Africa, Asia, Europe, North/South America, or Oceania.

Over the next five days, we will reveal a batch of five players that made our list until we get to number one.

We continue this year's ranking by revealing players ranked between 25-21.

25. Tolu Arokodare 

Tolu Arokodare is 25th in our 2024 PulseSports30 ranking

23-year-old Toluwalase Arokodare continued his progression with Genk in the Belgian Pro League this season and earns a spot on PulseSports30.

He made 39 appearances for Genk this season contributing 12 goals and two assists as they booked a playoff spot. There was also continental exposure for Arokodare as he featured in seven of their European Conference League fixtures although he did not find the back of the net.

There have been calls for Arokodare to be integrated into the national team and his development this season might see him break into the Super Eagles squad.

24. Bright Osayi-Samuel

Bright Osayi-Samuel brilliant year club and country puts him in 24th place in our 2024 PulseSports30 ranking

Fenerbahce fullback Bright Osayi-Samuel was a constant attacking threat this season and earned his spot in the PulseSports30. Under İsmail Kartal, Osayi-Samuel featured in 23 league fixtures for Fenerbahce.

He was also part of the Super Eagles squad at the AFCON 2023. Not a favourite of Jose Peseiro, Osayi-Samuel was decent in the semifinal victory against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa.

Just as Nigeria finished runners-up, Osayi-Samuel contributed four goals and one assist as his Fenerbahce side racked up 99 points in second place to Galatasaray in the league.

23. Moses Simon 

Moses Simon sits in 23rd place in our 2024 PulseSports30 ranking

The Nantes winger was on a trajectory that could have placed him much higher on the PulseSports30 rankings before a disappointing injury ended his season.

Regardless, the 28-year-old winger did enough to earn 23rd place in Pulse Sports rankings of the 30 best Nigerian players. Simon played all seven of the Super Eagles’ games in the AFCON 2023 campaign that resulted in a silver medal. He started five of those games, underscoring his importance.

Before getting injured, Simon was one of the assists leaders in Ligue 1, (5). Despite only starting 21 games, he finished with only three assists less than the league's top assister Ousmane Dembele (8). He also scored three goals, totalling eight goal contributions. 

22. Semi Ajayi 

Semi Ajayi's impressive year for club and country sees him take the 22nd spot in our 2024 PulseSports30 ranking

Despite Semi Ajayi’s mixed season with West Bromwich Albion — the centre-back started just 10 of the Albion’s 46 Championship games — the defender makes the top 30 due to his AFCON 2023 involvement. 

A previously criticised member of the backline, Ajayi did more than make up the numbers in Cote d’Ivoire, as he was one of the beneficiaries of Jose Peseiro’s switch to a three-player defence that gave little away throughout the finals, keeping four consecutive clean sheets. 

He played every minute in Nigeria’s run to a first final since the competition’s 2013 edition, which ended in defeat to the host nation. 

21. Sikiru Alimi

Sikiru Alimi is the only NPFL player on our 2024 PulseSports30 list, coming in at 21

The Remo Stars striker takes his place as one of Nigeria’s standout performers this season after a brilliant campaign for the Sky Blues in the NPFL.

Alimi, the Super Eagles man, finished the season as one of the Football League’s top scorers with 15 goals that helped fire Remo to a top three finish and a return to the continent. 

Remo Stars will play in the CAF Champions League next season and that is in part due to the contributions of Alimi whose form has earned him a credible 21st position in the coveted PulseSports30.

Click here to see players ranked from 26-30