Nigeria has birthed some exceptionally gifted players who have lit up the English Premier League. The English football top flight league has been a home to Nigerians over the years. With Efan Ekoku becoming the first-ever Nigerian to play in the Premier League when he represented Norwich City back in April 1993.
Several other Nigerians have plied their trade in the league, some of the players include Kanu Nwankwo, John Obi Mikel, Austin Okocha and many other players. These players have been able to influence the league and make positive impact on the game.
In this post we will be taking a look at the Top 5 Nigerian Players With The Most Premier League Appearances.
Let’s dive in 👇
5. JOSEPH YOBO – 228 PL APPEARANCES
Number 5 on our list is former Everton FC defender Joseph Yobo. The ex-Super Eagles captain had an amazing spell in the English premier league side. The 39 year old made a total of 228 appearances in the premier league. In which he made 220 appearances for Everton and 8 features for Norwich City.
4. JOHN OBI MIKEL – 249 APPEARANCES.
John Mikel Obi is acknowledged by many as one of the most successful African footballer to play in the English Premier league. The Nigerian midfielder had an interesting career with London side Chelsea Football Club, where he won several laurels with the Chelsea team. Mikel had a total of 249 appearances with Chelsea. Although he made 18 appearances for championship side Middlesbrough in 2019.
3. YAKUBU AIYEGBENI – 252 APPEARANCES.
At number 3 of our list of the Top 5 Nigerian Players With The Most Premier League Appearances, we have Ex-Super Eagles striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni. Popularly known as “The Yak”, Yakubu earned a loan move to English club Portsmouth which became permanent as they were promoted to the Premier League in 2003.
He has since appeared in over 252 Premier League matches for Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Everton, and Blackburn Rovers, and is the third highest African goalscorer in Premier League history with 96 goals.
2. KANU NWANKWO – 273 APPEARANCES.
Two-time Premier League title winner Nwankwo Kanu, is ranked the second Nigerian Player With The Most Premier League Appearances. The former Arsenal, West Brom and Portsmouth striker is one of few players to have won the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League, UEFA Cup and an Olympic Gold Medal.
Kanu made the third-most substitute appearances in Premier League history, appearing from the bench 118 times, and is regarded as one of the best players in African football history. Kanu made a total of 273 appearances through out his amazing playing time in the English Premier League.
1. SHOLA AMEOBI – 297 APPEARANCES.
At number one on our list of the Top 5 Nigerian Players With The Most Premier League Appearances, we have former Newcastle striker – Shola Ameobi. Shola spent 14 years at Newcastle United, making 397 official appearances and scoring 79 goals, and received a winner’s medal when they won the Championship in 2010.
He has the second most appearances as a substitute in the Premier League. Shola Ameobi however made 297 Premier league appearances in his amazing football career in the England’s topmost league.