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Iheanacho, Onuachu, Moffi… Nigeria’s leading goal scorers in Europe

Iheanacho, Onuachu, Moffi… Nigeria’s leading goal scorers in Europe
April 26
18:57 2021

As the Super Eagles prepare to begin their 2022 World Cup qualification campaign later this year, Gernot Rohr is expected to face a slight headache in the selection of strikers to lead the team.

Quite a number of Nigerian forwards across Europe have been banging in the goals in the 2020/2021 season with consistency that confirms their forms are far from flukes.

Here are Nigeria’s leading goal scorers across the different leagues in Europe: 

Paul Onuachu – 31 goals

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When Onuachu’s name was omitted from the initial Super Eagles squad for the AFCON qualification game that took place in March, grumbles stirred amidst football faithful in the country. Why would Rohr refuse to extend a call-up to the most in-form Nigerian footballer? A question that only simmered after the lanky striker was drafted as a last-minute replacement for Nantes’ Moses Simon.

With 29 goals in 33 league appearances, Onuachu finished as the highest goalscorer of the Jupiler Pro League.  He helped Genk FC finish fourth on the log — to enter for the Belgian Championship playoffs. He also scored two goals en route to the club’s Belgian Cup triumph. 

Simy Nwankwo – 19 goals

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Nwankwo has scored 12 goals in the last nine games for Crotone FC as they struggle with relegation from the Italian first division. The 28-year-old’s fortune has been a direct contrast with that of his club. While his club languishes at the base of the league, Nwankwo is Série A’s fourth-leading goalscorer of the season — behind only Cristiano Ronaldo, Romelu Lukaku, and Luis Muriel — with 19 goals in 33 games.

He arrived at the tally after shattering several records along the way: George Weah’s record of number goals in consecutive games was upended, followed by Yakubu Aiyegbeni decade-old record of goals scored by a Nigerian in a single season in Europe’s top five leagues. 

Sadiq Umar – 18 goals

Sadiq Umar could have gotten his Super Eagles debut in March but his club’s refusal to release him for the matches prevented the 23-year-old from the milestone. However, more invitations are likely to come his way as he continues to rake in goals for Almeria in Spain’s Segunda Division.

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His 16 goals in 32 league games place him third on Segunda’s goal scorers’ chart and have helped the team stay afloat in its quest for promotion with six games left. The other two goals came against Alaves in the Copa Del Rey.

Kelechi Iheanacho – 16 goals

Iheanacho isn’t far behind, with a blistering form that has garnered him 11 goals in the last eight games for Leicester City. ‘Seniorman Kelz’ is the rave of the English top flight. His genial persona coupled with his newly discovered form has endeared him to fans around the world. According to OptaJoe, only Harry Kane has more goals than Iheanacho’s 13 for any English club in 2021.

His exploits as the Foxes’ leading goalscorer this season have kept the club in the fight for a UEFA Champion League spot with five matches to play. His lone goal against Southampton on April 18 earned Leicester an FA Cup final for the first time in 52 years. 

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Terem Moffi – 14 goals

Young and exciting cold-eyed finisher, Moffi has been unstoppable. With six goals in the last three games, the 21-year-old remains a beacon of hope for the relegation-threatened Lorient FC who are placed 17th on the log with four games to go.

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On Sunday, he became the fifth Nigerian to score a Ligue 1 hat-trick — joining a list that includes John Utaka, Peter Odemwingie, Victor Agali, and Josh Maja. He is the league’s fifth-leading goal scorer with 14 goals in 28 appearances.

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