- Odion Ighalo will probably play his first game for Man United against Chelsea
- The 30-year-old forward is the first Nigerian to sign and play for Manchester United
- But Ighalo is nowhere to be found on the list of 10 Nigerian stars who dazzled in EPL
Odion Ighalo would be making his debut for Mancher United on Monday, February 17, against Chelsea during Red Devils' first game after the winter break scheduled to hold at Stamford Bridge.
The Nigerian ex-international arrived in Manchester United from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua on the January transfer deadline day in a shocking move that pulled the storm across the world.
Ighalo's Manchester United move will be his second stint in the Premier League having played for Watford before departing to China in a big-money deal.
The 30-year-old, who is a staunch Man United fan, is believed will fill the void for injured Marcus Rashford.
Ighalo will be a starting inclusion in United's EPL tie against Chelsea, thus cementing his place as first Nigerian star to play for the Old Trafford outfits, but where does he rank among Nigerian stars who have dazzled in English top league?
Legit.ng identifies 10 Nigerian players who have raised the bar higher in the EPL, as cited on Dailymail:
1. Kanu Nwankwo
Known as King Papilo, Kanu is considered as the greatest Nigerian star to ever play in the Premier League, with a long stint that bordered across three English teams.
Kanu joined Arsenal in February 1998 for £4.15million and won a host of honours including the "Invincibles" under legendary Arsene Wenger before departing in 2004.
Before becoming part of Gunners family, Kanu had already won the Champions League with Ajax and the UEFA Cup with Inter Milan.
He joined West Bromwich Albion in 2004 from Arsenal and left for Portsmouth in 2006 where he spent four more years before saying bye to EPL in 2010.
2. John Obi Mikel
Obi joined Chelsea in 2006 as an 18-year-old prospect and moved on to spend the best phase of his career with Blues before departing in 2017.
He was the power-house of Chelsea as they won their first Champions League in 2012. Obi won numerous trophies with Blues including EPL, FA, and UCL.
He has 89 caps for Nigeria, leading them to AFCON glory in 2013.
3. Yakubu Aiyegbeni
With stints across four EPL side (Portsmouth 2003-2005; Middlesbrough 2005-2007; Everton 2007-2011; Blackburn Rovers 2011-2012), Aiyegbeni is considered one of the best players from Nigeria to play in EPL.
It was only Didier Drogba and Emmanuel Adebayo the African players who scored more than him in the league.
4. Jay-Jay Okocha
Probably the only Nigerian player Premier League fans remember with a sheer fondness, Okocha brought class and technique to the league.
He joined Bolton Wanderers in 2002 and left on a high note in 2006. He was admired to the point that his former boss Sam Allardyce recently said he would always want his team captains to emulate Jay-Jay.
5. Joseph Yobo Everton 2002-2010; Norwich City 2014
6. Victor Moses Wigan Athletic 2009-2012; Chelsea 2012- (loans at Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham United)
7. Efan Ekoku Norwich City 1993-1994; Wimbledon 1994-1999
8. Celestine Babayaro Chelsea 1997-2005; Newcastle United 2005-2008
9. Shola Ameobi Newcastle United 2000-2014; Crystal Palace 2015
10. Wilfred Ndidi Leicester City 2016-
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that Kanu Nwankwo has expressed admiration for the newly-unveiled Super Eagles' jersey, though made some reservations towards how the initiative was handled by the NFF, Nigeria's football governing body.
It was recalled that the new jersey was unveiled by sports kit manufacturing giants Nike on February 5 after being inspired by the traditional agbada wear.
Ferdinand reveals why Ighalo may struggle at Man United, names best Nigerian player | Legit TV
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