It was a record-breaking outing for Team Nigeria at the 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Birmingham.
Medals were raked in at an unprecedented rush while Nigerian athletes broke several records at the games.
Team Nigeria won 12 gold medals — the country’s highest haul in the history of the CWG.
Incredibly, all the gold medals were won by female athletes who took the tracks and gymnasiums in Birmingham by storm and wrote their names in the annals of the competition.
Tobi Amusan surged to the finish line in 12.30 seconds in the final of the women’s 100-meter hurdles to set a CWG record. Ese Brume registered a record-setting 7-meter leap in the long jump.
In the women’s 4×100 meters, the quartet of Amusan, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma, and Grace Nwokocha cruised to gold while setting a new African record with a time of 42.10 seconds.
Lifters like Adijat Olarinoye, Rafiatu Lawal, and Alice Oluwafemilayo also set new CWG records in their respective categories.
Nigeria finished the competition with 35 medals — 12 gold, 9 silver, and 14 bronze — to clinch seventh on the leaders’ table as the final day of activities wraps up.
Athletics provided the most medals for Nigeria with 10 podium finishes, followed by wrestling with seven.
Below is the full list of all 35 medalists for Team Nigeria at the 2022 CWG:
Tobi Amusan — Women’s 100m hurdles
Tobi Amusan, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma, Grace Nwokocha, Joy Udo-Gabriel — Women’s 4 x 100m relay
Ese Brume — Women’s long jump
Odunayo Adekuoroye — Wrestling women’s freestyle 57 kg
Blessing Oborududu — Wrestling women’s freestyle 68 kg
Genesis Miesinnei Mercy — Wrestling women’s freestyle 50 kg
Adijat Olarinoye — Weightlifting women’s 55kg
Rafiatu Lawal — Weightlifting women’s 59kg
Alice Oluwafemiayo — Para-powerlifting women’s heavyweight
Chioma Onyekwere — Women’s discus throw
Goodness Nwachukwu — Women’s discus throw F42-44/61-64
Eucharia Iyiazi — Women’s F55-57 shot put
Favour Ofili — Women’s 200m
Elizabeth Oshoba — Women’s featherweight boxing
Ikechukwu Obichukwu — Para-powerlifting men’s heavyweight
Bose Omolayo — Para-powerlifting women’s heavyweight
Ifechukwude Ikpeoyi — Para-table tennis women’s singles classes 3-5
Nasiru Sule — Para-table tennis men’s singles classes 3-5
Taiwo Liadi — Weightlifting women’s 76kg
Hannah Reuben — Wrestling women’s freestyle 76kg
Ebikewenimo Welson — Wrestling men’s freestyle 57kg
Udodi Onwuzurike, Seye Ogunlewe, Favour Ashe, Alaba Akintola, Raymond Ekevwo — Men’s 4 x 100m relay
Ugochi Constance Alam — Women’s F55-57 shot put
Obiageri Amaechi — Women’s discus throw
Ifeanyi Onyekwere — Men’s super heavyweight boxing
Jacinta Umunnake — Women’s middleweight boxing
Cynthia Ogunsemilore — Women’s lightweight boxing
Innocent Nnamdi — Para-powerlifting men’s lightweight
Isau Ogunkunle — Para-table tennis men’s singles classes 3-5
Faith Obazuaye — Para-table tennis women’s singles classes 6-10
Mary Taiwo Osijo — Weightlifting women’s 87kg
Islamiyat Yusuf — Weightlifting women’s 64kg
Edidiong Umoafia — Weightlifting men’s 67kg
Ogbonna John — Wrestling men’s freestyle 74kg
Esther Kolawole — Wrestling women’s freestyle 62kg
As the 2022 Commonwealth Games ends on Monday, “Team Nigeria” ended its campaign on Sunday, after day 10 of quality representation at the competition.
Team Nigeria finished its campaign at the Games with 35 medals consisting of 12 gold, 9 silver and 14 bronze medals to place 7th on the log.
Nigeria went into the last session of the Games, needing one gold medal to surpass its highest ever gold medal win of eleven.
Ese Brume understood the assignment and duly delivered for Nigeria. In fact, all gold medals won by Nigeria at the competition were won by women.
Long Jumper Ese Brume broke the Commonwealth Games record to win Team Nigeria’s 12th gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Sunday.
Brume put herself in a commanding position for the gold medal after her fourth attempt gave her a new Commonwealth Games record of 6.99m.
The 26-year-old broke the Games record again a few minutes later with her last attempt, after a leap of 7.00m to put her way ahead to clinch Nigeria’s last gold of Day 10.
Tobi Amusan also made history on Sunday morning, as the first Nigeria track and field athlete, and the second in history to successfully defend a Commonwealth Games 100m hurdles title.
The 25-year-old Nigerian also set a new 12.30 seconds Games record on the way to winning the event’s gold medal.
Amusan, who’s the reigning world champion and world record holder in the 100m hurdles also became the first Nigerian track and field athlete to win gold medal at two editions of the Games,with the gold now, she has become the only Nigerian athlete in history to complete a grand slam of titles in Africa, Commonwealth and World levels after winning gold at the 22nd African Athletics championships in Mauritius in June and the World Athletics championships in Oregon, USA last month.
The women’s 4x100m quartet, of Tobi Amusan, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma and Grace Nwokocha, claimed gold in record-breaking fashion, finishing in 42.10secs to break the 42.22secs African record they set at last month’s World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA to win Nigeria’s first ever Gold in Commonwealth Games.
The men’s 4x100m team made up of Udodi Onwuzurike, Favour Ashe, Alaba Akintola and Raymond Ekevwo also made history with a bronze medal win on Sunday. It’s the first medal by the men’s 4x100m relay team at the Games since 1982.
Elizabeth Oshoba also won a silver medal for Nigeria in Women’s Boxing over 54kg-57kg Featherweight. She lost 0-5 to Michaela Walsh.
More than 5,000 athletes representing 72 nations and territories competing in 280 medal events
The closing ceremony of the Games will be held later tonight and the Games flag will be handed over to Victoria, Australia for the 2026 Games.
Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan has won the gold medal in the women’s 100m hurdles at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
The world champion successfully defended her title at the Alexander Stadium on Sunday in the women’s 100m hurdles final.
Amusan was able to run a Games record of 12.30s, setting other records as well, and becoming the first world champion to win gold and the first Nigerian athlete to do the same.
Amusan was one of the favourites to get the gold at the tournament following her impressive showing at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, the United States, which saw her break multiple records to win Nigeria’s first gold at the World Championships.
Having done it on another continent, Amusan made sure to replicate that fine display in Europe, proving that it was no fluke and that it was indeed her time.
The 25-year-old ran a blistering 12.30secs to claim the gold and also set a new Games Record in Birmingham.
“Honestly, I believe in my abilities but I was not expecting a world record at these championships.
“The goal is always just to execute well and get the win. So the world record is a bonus. I knew I had it in me but I could not believe it when I saw it on the screen after the semis.
“Before the final, I just tried to stay calm and to do my best. I took a deep breath knowing that I have some goals to accomplish and it worked pretty well. I knew it was very fast but not this fast,” Amusan said after her final victory.
Coming up behind here were Bahamas’s Devynne Charlton (12.58secs) who took silver and England’s Cindy Sember (12.59secs) who took bronze with both some notable distance behind the eventual winner.
With this result, Nigeria has now won 10 gold medals and 31 medals in total.
Team Nigeria are now just one behind the gold medal record set by the 1994 team (11 gold medals) at the Commonwealth Games and six behind the total medals record (37 medals).
With seven competitions still holding potential for gold for the team on the final day and World Athletics Championship silver medallist Ese Brume still in competition later today, Nigeria can and will hope for more.
Favour Ofili capped what was a wonderful day for Team Nigeria at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Birmingham as he secured the silver medal in Women’s 200m on Saturday night at the Alexander Stadium.
The silver medal won by the 19-year-old was Team Nigeria’s last for the day as the country’s contingent raked in an amazing 14 medals on the penultimate day of action at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Ofili who could not feature in the 100m event having tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival from her base in the United States ensured she did well enough for a podium finish in the 200m and she may be making an appearance for the country’s 4x100m team on Sunday.
Ofili’s silver medal win is the second such medal Nigeria has won in the event after Mary Onyali who ran 22.35 seconds to place second behind Australia’s Cathy Freeman in 1994.
Nigeria’s record in the event now reads one gold after Blessing Okagbare’s 22.25 seconds blistering run eight years ago in Glasgow, Scotland and two silver medals.
In the other events concluded on Saturday, Team Nigeria’s Njideka Iyiazi and Ugochi Alam dominated the Women’s F56/57 Para Shot Put event where they won gold and bronze respectively.
Iyiazi won gold with a record throw of 10.03m, while Ugochi settled for the bronze medal with a decent throw of 9.38m.
In Boxing, Team Nigeria is yet to get its projection for at least a gold medal.
One of the country’s brightest gold medal prospects, Onyekwere Innocent could not make it to the final on Saturday. He settled for the bronze medal in the Super heavyweight 92+kg category
Cynthia Ogunsemilore also settled for the bronze medal after a 5-0 semi-final loss to Any Broadhurst of Northern Ireland.
The country’s hope for gold now rests on Esther Oshoba’s shoulders as she progressed to the final of the women’s over 54kg-57kg featherweight after a win over Tina Rahimi of Australia.
Oshoba battled to a 4-1 victory by split decision in the semi-final bout to edge closer to winning gold for Team Nigeria.
In wrestling, there was no gold medal on Saturday but two-time Commonwealth Games silver medallist, Ebikewenimo Welson, picked up the silver medal in the men’s freestyle 57kg category after losing to India’s Kumar Ravi in the final.
Hannah Reuben also won silver in the women’s wrestling 76kg category.
Ogbonna John won the bronze medal in the men’s freestyle 74kg; defeating Charlie Bowling of England in the bronze medal game.
Faith Obazuaye won Team Nigeria’s first tennis medal as she won the bronze medal in para table tennis.
Obazuaye defeated Felicity Pickard of England 3-1 to win bronze in the Women’s Para Table Tennis event.
Isau Ogunkunle also defeated Raj Alagar 3-0 to win another bronze for Nigeria in the men’s singles classes 3-5 Para Table event.
Ahead of the battle for the last set of medals in Birmingham on Sunday, Team Nigeria with 30 medals, 9 gold, 8 silver and 13 bronze medals, occupies the sixth spot on the overall medals table.
Team Nigeria in sixth is the highest ranked African country with South Africa and Kenya occupying the eighth and twelfth spots respectively.
Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan has successfully defended her Commonwealth Games 100m hurdles title after breezing to the first position on Sunday at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.
Amusan set a new Games Record of 12.30s to set a new Games Record and also secure Nigeria’s 10th gold medal in what has been an amazing year.
A 2.4 m/s tailwind denied Amusan the chance of breaking the Games Record in the semi-final.
However, there was no stopping the World Record holder as she breezed to a time of 12.30s to eclipse the 16-year-old 12.65 seconds Games record set by Jamaica’s Brigitte Foster-Hylton in Melbourne, Australia.
Devynne Charlton of the Bahamas came second while Briton Cindy Sember who celebrated her 28th birthday with a win in the semis settled for the bronze.
Speaking to reporters after her win, Tobi Amusan said even though she set a new Games Record, she did not have a properly executed race.
Only a few weeks ago, 25-year-old Amusan broke the World Record with her 12.12 seconds semi-final win before going on to win the world title in Oregon with 12.06s wind-aided time.
Nigeria yesterday overtook South Africa to become the leading African team on the medals table at the ongoing Commonwealth Games, with another gold medal to its total haul in Birmingham.
On Friday which was Day 8 at the ongoing Commonwealth Games, Team Nigeria trailed South Africa in the eighth position, with a total of seven Gold, three Silver, and six Bronze medals, making a total of 16 medals.
But yesterday, Day 9, the Nigerian athletes dominated the Women’s F55-57 Shot Put event, with Eucharia Iyayi winning the Gold medal, while Ugochi Alam clinched the Bronze.
Iyiazi, threw a new Commonwealth Games record of 10.03m to win the gold medal for Nigeria.
Iyiazi competed in the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, China where she won a gold medal in both the women’s shot putt F57/F58 event and the women’s discus throw F57/F58 event.
At the Beijing Paralympics, Iyiazi set the world and Paralympic record for the F58 class in shot put and discus.
The Nigerian women’s 4x100m relay quartet of Joy Udo-Gabriel, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma and Grace Nzubechi Nwokocha moved a step closer to making history as the first women’s relay team to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal after sealing a place in Sunday’s final at the ongoing 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
Fresh from the team’s Nigeria and African record-setting 42.22 seconds run in Oregon, the USA at the World Athletics Championships last month, the quartet broke 43 seconds again, running 42.59 seconds to qualify for the final.
The time is the fastest in the semifinals ahead of England (42.72) who ran without 100m bronze medalist, Daryl Neita and Jamaica who won the other semifinal in 43.66 seconds without Tokyo Olympics double sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah.
The Nwokocha-led quartet will now be seeking to become the first Nigerian women’s relay team (women’s 4x100m and 4x400m) to win a Commonwealth Games title.
Nigeria has won silver (2014) and bronze (1990 and 2018) in the 4x100m event in past editions and will feel it is time to move up to gold this time.
The Nigerians will hope to call on Tobi Amusan to run in one of the legs after the reigning world champion and record holder in the 100m hurdles must have successfully defended her Commonwealth Games sprint hurdles title about two and half hours earlier.
Meanwhile, former schoolboy international Seye Ogunlewe anchored Nigeria’s women’s 4x100m relay team to its third straight final after winning the second semifinal heat in 38.85 seconds, the third fastest time in the event behind England who ran 38.48 seconds to win the first semifinal heat and Trinidad and Tobago (38.84) who came second behind the host.
The Nigerians will be seeking to learn from their predecessors who dropped the baton four years ago at the Gold Coast, Australia and subsequently got disqualified.
--Set to be first Nigerian to win African, Commonwealth and World title in same year
--Could become the first Nigerian athlete to successfully defend a Commonwealth Games title
Sprint hurdler Tobiloba Amusan will be seeking to become the first Nigerian athlete, dead or alive to be crowned champion at all levels of athletics in the same year as she bids to successfully defend the Commonwealth Games title she won four years ago in Gold Coast, Australia.
The petite, 25 year old ran a wind-aided 12.40 seconds to qualify for the final of the 100m hurdles scheduled to hold on Sunday at the Alexander stadium in Birmingham.
A win on Sunday will make Amusan the first and only Nigerian to be crowned African, Commonwealth and World Champion in the same year.
In June, the World Athletics Diamond League Trophy winner successfully defended her African Championships title, storming to a wind-aided 12.57 seconds, the fastest time in all conditions in the event’s history at the championships.
The Nigerian followed up with a historic feat. She won the 100m hurdles title at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA to become the first Nigerian to be crowned a world champion at World Athletics’ flagship event, the World Athletics Championships.
Amusan did that in record-breaking fashion, running a new 12.12 seconds world record to become the first Nigerian track and field star to set a world record.
On Sunday, the Nigerian will be seeking her treble and a special place in Nigerian athletics history.
Amusan will not only become the first Nigerian track and field athlete to successfully defend a Commonwealth Games title if she wins, she will also become the second woman in the competition to do so after Australia’s Sally Pearson (2010 and 2014).
Quartermiler Fatimah Yusuf remains the closest Nigerian athlete to successfully defend a Commonwealth Games track and field medal. She won the 400m title in 1990 but was denied a successful defence four years later in Victoria, Canada by Australian Cathy Freeman.
Before that, the duo of Emmanuel Ifeajuna and Modupe Oshikoya could not defend the titles they won in 1954 and 1974 respectively.
While Ifeajuna who won Nigeria’s first gold at the Games was not in Cardiff, Wales in 1958 to defend the high jump gold he won four years earlier in Vancouver, Canada, Nigeria’s boycott of the 1978 Commonwealth Games in protest against the apartheid regime in South Africa prevented Oshikoya from defending the long jump gold she won in 1974 in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Yusuf Alli was not in Victoria, Canada to defend the long jump gold he won in Auckland in 1990, with Obinna Eregbu succeeding him as Commonwealth Games champion.
Former African queen of the track, Mary Onyali could also not defend the 100m gold she won in 1994 four years later partly due to Nigeria’s suspension by the Commonwealth Games Federation and procreation as she gave birth to her first child a few months earlier.
Ese Brume was missing at the Gold Coast in 2018 and was thus unable to defend the long jump title she won in 2014 in Glasgow while Blessing Okagbare was also missing there to defend the historic sprint double she won four years earlier.
Brighton and Hove Albion coach, Graham Potter says the club’s hands were tied when Chelsea came calling for Marc Cucurella.
Cucurella, 24, joined Chelsea within the space of 48 hours after Brighton had debunked reports of him leaving the club.
The Spaniard played an important role in Brigton’s campaign last season where they finished in the top part of the league table.
“We didn’t want to sell him [Cucurella], we didn’t need to sell him.” Potter said in a pre-game presser.
“But at the same time, as I’ve said before, if a Champions League club comes with Champions League resources and finances and the player indicates that there’s a desire to do it, it’s very difficult for us, then we have to make sure that we get the right fee, and we’re in a situation where everyone has won in terms of that the player has got a great opportunity, the selling club has got a good fee and the buying club has got a good player as well.”
Chelsea have reinforced their defence, bringing in Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli after Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen left the Stamford Bridge side to join Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
Marcos Alonso is also in the news and is believed to be on the radar of Barcelona. His departure means Chelsea will be left with just Ben Chilwell in the left back position which makes the move for Cucurella quite necessary.
Brighton travels to Old Trafford for their first game of the 2022/23 season.
The Premier League returns with Friday Night Football, today.
Arsenal, for the second season running, are involved in the opening fixture.
This time around, Mikel Arteta’s men travel to Crystal Palace.
The release of the ‘All or Nothing’ documentary on Thursday, vividly captures how the Gunners lost 2-0 to newcomers Brentford last August.
That time, Arteta had a squad depleted by injuries and COVID-19. But at Selhurst Park, he will be able to pick Gabriel Jesus upfront and the returning William Saliba at the back.
The last time Patrick Vieira welcomed his old club, they received a 3-0 thrashing as they struggled to remain in the Champions League.
Arsenal vs Crystal Palace will set the tone for more intriguing matches this weekend.
On Saturday, last season’s runners-up, Liverpool travel to Fulham, with Jurgen Klopp intent on toppling Manchester City as champions.
Tottenham Hotspur welcome Southampton, while Chelsea are away at Everton, managed by their legend, Frank Lampard.
We cannot forget in a hurry how Lampard claimed a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge, as he managed to keep the Toffees in the top flight last season.
Manchester United, now managed by Erik ten Hag, host Brighton on Sunday. Their city rivals City, will begin their title defence at West Ham.
It’s that time of the year again.
Gripping matches. Shockers. Controversies. Feisty confrontations. Mind games. Season-defining fixtures. Stadium cramped with excited fans, belting out songs in worship or war.
British most watched drama series, the English Premier League, returns to our screens this weekend.
Nwachukwu Goodness has claimed a gold medal for Nigeria in the women’s E42.44/61.64 discus throw at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Nwachukwu also set a world record with her throw of 36.56m.
Sarah Edminston of Australia came second while Naibili Vanutisolo of Fiji Island took the third position.
In the men’s lightweight para powerlifting, Nnamdi Innocent clinched a bronze medal for the nation. The Nigerian lifted 132.5kg
Gustin Bonnie Bunyau of Malaysia secured the gold medal with a lift of 154.6kg while England’s Swan Mark took the silver medal.
With the two medals won by Nigeria on Thursday night, the nation’s medal tally has now risen from eight to ten.
Nigerian governors have asked the federal government to raise value-added tax (VAT) to 15 percent and offer public workers older than 50 years a one-off retirement package to avert the looming economic crisis.
The federal government raised VAT from 5 percent to 7.5 percent in 2020.
According to Premium Times, the governors made the recommendations at a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in July.
The proposal, according to the report, was part of coordinated efforts to instil fiscal discipline and prevent the nation from imminent economic collapse.
TheCable had reported that the balance in Nigeria’s excess crude account had depleted significantly from $35.37m to $376,655, leaving the nation with no buffers to stabilise the economy.
In the first four months of 2022, debt servicing also surpassed revenue.
As part of the recommendations, they also urged the government to start implementation of the updated Stephen Oronsaye Report and reduce expenditure by eliminating petrol subsidy and NNPC-funded projects.
The governors, according to Premium Times, also asked the government to reduce duplications (e.g. empowerment programmes) and waste, reduce 1 percent granted to NASENI to 0.2 percent, amend the 2022 Finance Act, reduce personnel costs of federal government MDAs, and expedite privatisation of non-performing assets like the NDPHC power plants.
On foreign exchange and reserves, the report added that the governors suggested that foreign trips by MDAs, including budgetary-independent agencies such as FIRS, NPA, NIMASA and NCC, be put on hold for at least one year to conserve foreign exchange and grow the reserves.
They also urged the ministry of foreign affairs not to issue requests for visas to foreign embassies for federal government officials and their families, unless express approval is granted by the presidency.
On taxes, they recommended the introduction of a 3 percent federal income tax while state-level profit income tax (PIT) should be abolished.
Similarly, they suggested that state sales taxes (flat rate of 10 percent) should be enacted for the 36 states and FCT, and VAT levels increased to 10 percent with a timeline to raise it to between 15 percent and 20 percent as well as re-introduction and passage of VAT into the exclusive list.
The VAT position is coming despite a pending court case dispute between the Rivers state government and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
“The governors also suggested centralisation of the collection of all federal oil and non-oil taxes in one agency, the FIRS, while Customs, NPA, and others assess and issue demands,” the report said
“They suggested that the Federal Government improve crude oil and gas production, resolve lingering issues of ownership of gas in PSCs (eg Nnwa-Doro, OML 129) to help position Nigeria to take advantage of the gas needs in Europe, and provide incentives to expedite development of vandalism-resistant deep offshore fields like Bonga SW (Shell), Preweoi (Total), Zabazaba (ENI) and Owowo (Exxon).
“The governors equally advised the government to encourage (and pre-finance, if necessary) Dangote Refinery to early completion to reduce massive future outflows of foreign exchange.”
Folashade Oluwafemiayo has clinched the gold medal for Nigeria in the women’s heavyweight para powerlifting event at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
She also broke the world record after lifting 130, 150 and 155 kilograms to score a cumulative 123.4 points on Thursday evening.
Another Nigerian Omolayo Bose Patricia won the silver medal in the same category.
Similarly, Nigeria’s Obichukwu Ikechukwu secured a silver medal in the para powerlifting event in the men’s heavyweight category.
He lifted a combined efforts of 190 and 197 kilograms for a total 133.6 points.
The wins come at about the same time when Nwachukwu Goodness claimed a gold medal for Nigeria in the women’s E42.44/61.64 discus throw at the games.
Nwachukwu also set a world record with her throw of 36.56m.
Nigeria’s total medal haul is now thirteen after the end of Day 8 in Birmingham.
TheCable earlier reported how Latifat Tijani and Oyinyechi Mark were disqualified from the para powerlifting event over “lateness”.
Nigeria has always had presence in the Premier League. From Efan Ekoku to the latest addition, Joe Aribo, the Super Eagles representation in the most watched league has remained one of the many reasons Nigerians look forward to the resumption of hostilities every August/September.
The Super Eagles had eight (8) players plying their trade in the Premier League last season, but with Watford that had three Nigerians getting relegated and the imminent exit of Leicester City’s Ademola Lookman, reconciled with the arrival of Taiwo Awoniyi and Joe Aribo from Union Berlin and Rangers respectively, the new number is six.
So how are the six Super Eagles players preparing for the new season?
Joe Aribo (Southampton)
Aribo introduced himself to Southampton fans with an astonishing goal, dribbling past a sea of legs to score what can only be compared to a trademark Maradona or Messi goal, even though they went on to lose. The midfielder joined from UEFA Europa League finalists, Rangers and will expectedly get his first taste of action when they travel to face Tottenham Hotspur.
Watch Aribo’s goal below…
Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest)
Awoniyi comes to the Premier League on the back of a fantastic season in the Bundesliga with Union Berlin and joins up with newboys Nottingham Forest. The club will expect Awoniyi to justify the record £17.5m fee that was paid for his services. Nottingham Forest opens their Premier League campaign against Newcastle United.
Alex Iwobi (Everton)
Iwobi played a key role in ensuring that Everton survived relegation last season and has become crucial in Frank Lampard’s plan heading into the 2022/23 season. Iwobi’s two goals contribution helped lighten the burden on the Toffees boss. They begin their campaign against Chelsea who they defeated 1-0 as they battled relegation last season.
Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City)
Although he could not replicate his form from the 2020/21 season where he finished with 12 goals, Iheanacho remains a key member of Brendan Rodgers’ squad. The fact that Leicester City has been quiet in the transfer market means Iheanacho has a lesser battle to fight for game time. He has Patson Daka, Ayoze Perez and Jamie Vardy as competitors for a starting role.
Frank Onyeka (Brentford)
Onyeka did not live up to the hype that came with his entrance into the Premier League and even got relegated to substitute roles after his first few games with Brentford. The hard tackling midfielder will have to outperform the likes of Christian Nørgaard and Vitaly Janelt to play regularly. The exit of Christian Eriksen could also give a boost to his chances.
Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City)
The midfield enforcer had a difficult 2021/22 campaign plagued with a long-term knee injury that ruled him out of the concluding part of Leicester City’s season and also Nigeria’s World Cup play-off against Ghana. Ndidi is expected to return having shown signs of recovery and returning to training. Leicster City will open their league campaign against Brentford.
Former Super Eagles players and new Chelsea signing Kalidou Koulibaly have faulted Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis over his plans to stop signing African players unless they agreed to not take part in the Africa Cup of Nations,
De Laurentiis said on a Wall Street Italia talk show that he would never have Napoli players available for the AFCON.
“I told them, lads, don’t talk to me about Africans anymore!” he said.
“I love them, but either they sign something confirming they’ll back out of playing the Africa Cup of Nations, or otherwise between that tournament, the World Cup qualifiers in South America, these players are never available!
“We are the idiots who pay salaries only to send them all over the world playing for others.”
“Or they sign a waiver giving up their right to participate to the Africa Cup of Nations tournaments or between AFCON and the championships in South America … I never have them Napoli players) available,” he said
Speaking with The PUNCH, Eagles defender, Taribo West, who played in Serie A for Milan giants AC and Inter, said, “That is not a good idea at all. Some of these European teams were not happy when African players left for the AFCON in January, but the players returned to their clubs and fitted in. He (De Laurentiis) should not stop the African players from playing at the AFCON. It’s a pride for these players to play for their country as well.”
“I don’t think any African will want to sign for a club that will deny him a chance to represent his fatherland at the AFCON. That will be a setback for such player.”
Haruna Lukman, who captained Nigeria to the 2007 U-17 World Cup title in South Korea, described De Laurentiis comments as “absurd.”
“But it’s his decision,” Lookman said. “These are some of the difficulties most African players face in Europe. Such comments could encourage other Italian clubs from going for African players or include such clauses in deals before they get signed.”
Senegal defender, Kalidou Koulibaly, now at Premier League side Chelsea, also expressed his disappointment.
“The most important thing is to respect everyone,” Koulibaly said.
“When I played there I also played for Senegal… You cannot speak of an African team like this.