Osimhen, Ndidi, or Okocha: Who is the Super Eagles' most expensive player?
Nigerian players have been involved in several big-money moves in different transfer windows.
It is that time of the year again when football clubs throw big bucks around to sign players that can improve their team. Since the transfer window became a thing in football, there have been several big-money moves involving players.
Nigerian players have not been left out of this conversation, either, with both present and past Super Eagles stars commanding huge transfer fees.
As a result, Pulse Sports Nigeria looks at the top ten most expensive transfers involving Nigerian players.
Wilfred Ndidi €17.60m (Genk to Leicester City)
In eleventh place is a deal involving Leicester, although they are the buying club. In January 2017, the Foxes paid €17.60m to sign a burgeoning defensive midfielder named Wilfred Ndidi from Genk.
The deal made Ndidi the tenth most expensive Nigerian player ever. However, Ndidi’s value has more than tripled since signing for the Foxes, with the Super Eagles star now valued at €60.00m.
Ademola Lookman €18.00m (Everton to Leipzig)
New Super Eagles star Ademola Lookman is Nigeria’s tenth most expensive player following his move from Everton to RB Leipzig in 2019.
Lookman signed a five-year deal with the German Bundesliga club for €18.00m, although it has not worked out so far.
The 24-year-old spent last season on loan with Leicester City, which means the Foxes could buy another Nigerian star again.
Ahmed Musa €19.50m (CSKA Moscow to Leicester City)
Musa’s entry on this list is the deal that brought him from CSKA Moscow to England. After four successful years in Russia, Leicester paid €19.50m to bring Musa to England in 2016.
The Foxes added Musa to a squad that had stunned the football world to win the Premier League title. However, the move did not work out as Musa returned to CSKA on loan after just a season before signing permanently for Al-Nassr two years later.
John Mikel Obi €20.00m (Lyn Oslo to Chelsea)
Mikel’s move to Chelsea is one of the controversial transfers of all time. The Nigerian had initially signed for Manchester United before making a U-turn, claiming he was forced against his wish.
The ex-Super Eagles captain eventually signed for Chelsea for €20.00m. It turned out to be a wise choice as Mikel had 11 successful years at Stamford Bridge.
Taiwo Awoniyi €20.50m (Union Berlin to Nottingham Forest)
Awoniyi is the newest member after completing his move from Union Berlin to Nottingham Forest this summer.
The Tricky Trees paid €20.50m for the services of Awoniyi from Union Berlin. The amount is Nottingham’s record transfer, breaking the previous transfer fee of €15.00m they paid to sign Joao Carvalho in 2018.
The fee is also the seventh-highest a club has paid for a Nigerian player, making Awoniyi the sixth most expensive Super Eagles star ever.
The 24-year-old overtakes John Mikel Obi, who went to Chelsea in 2006 for €20.00m.
Victor Osimhen €22.40m (Royal Charleroi to Lille)
Osimhen appears twice on this list. The deal that took Osimhen from Charleroi to Lille puts him in sixth place. The Nigerian international had one successful season with the Belgian club after signing him on loan from Wolfsburg in 2019.
The Belgian side decided to sign him permanently following his impressive loan spell before cashing on him immediately by selling him to Lille for €22.40m.
Calvin Bassey €23m (Rangers to Ajax)
Bassey bumps Osimhen to number six after signing a five-year deal worth €23m and another potential €3m in add-ons with Ajax. The 22-year-old joins the Dutch champions from Rangers in what is the biggest sale in the Gers’ history.
It is also Ajax’s record signing for a defender and second-most expensive signing in the club’s history.
Odion Ighalo €23.30m (Watford to CC Yatai)
Sitting in the fourth spot is Odion Ighalo, who made a €23.30m move from Watford to Chinese Super League side CC Yatai in 2017. However, Ighalo did not stay long at the club before joining rivals Shanghai Shenhua.
The Super Eagles striker is currently on the books of Al-Hilal.
Kelechi Iheanacho €27.70m (Manchester City to Leicester City)
There must be something about Nigeria that the Foxes like after they brought Kelechi Iheanacho from Manchester City in 2017.
Leicester paid €27.70m to sign Iheanacho from the Premier League champions, making him the third most expensive Nigerian star.
However, Iheanacho’s time at the King Power Stadium has been a rollercoaster ride.
Alex Iwobi €30.40m (Arsenal to Everton)
Naija boy Alex Iwobi sits in the second position following his big-money move to Everton in 2019.
The 26-year-old Super Eagles midfielder joined the Toffees from his boyhood club, Arsenal, for €30.40m. Iwobi’s move to Goodison Park was met with huge expectations, but the Nigerian is yet to justify his price tag.
Victor Osimhen €75.00m (Lille to Napoli)
The most expensive Nigerian player is no other person than Victor Osimhen. Osimhen made history when he joined Napoli from Lille for €75.00m in 2020. It comes after just one season with the Ligue 1 club.
Osimhen has had a mixed time with Napoli, but he could still break his record if he leaves Napoli this summer. The 23-year-old has been linked with a move away from Naples, but it will take a fee in the region of €100.00m for Napoli to sell.
Meanwhile, honourable mention to Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, who at a time was Nigeria and Africa’s most expensive player following his move from Fenerbahce to PSG.