The Premier League lost several Nigerians to relegation last term. It has made the England Championship the division to look out for for many Nigerians.
With Alex Iwobi and Taiwo Awoniyi holding the fort for the Super Eagles, Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Paul Onuachu will do battle in the Championship.
It is painful to see several Super Eagles stars plying their trade in the lower division, but hopefully, the talent they have will be enough to see them back in the elite division.
England Championship has its fair share of Nigerians
The England Championship has its fair share of Nigerians. It is a long list that includes Andrew Omobamidele, Emmanuel Adegboyega, Adam Idah and Samuel Kalu. Others are Semi Ajayi, Josh Maja, Fred Onyedinnma, Joshua Kayode, Tom Dele-Bashiru and Keshi Anderson. We take a look at five stars to watch in the England Championship.
Kelechi Iheanacho is a player with massive expectations, but the Super Eagles star has barely twinkled in the bright lights of the Premier League.
The former Manchester City star has suffered the ignominy of dropping to the less-fancied England Championship.
The former U-17 FIFA World Cup winner featured in 28 Premier League games for Leicester City last season and scored five goals, with a further three coming in the FA Cup. Despite Leicester City’s relegation, he was the Player of the Year winner for Leicester City.
There are offers for Iheanacho in the lucrative Saudi Pro League. If he remains with the Foxes, the Owerri-born lad should take the England Championship by storm.
Super Eagles midfield lynchpin has seen his form drop in recent seasons. The 2022/23 season is one to forget for the former Nath Boys Academy youth player. Injury was the bane of his form last season, with the former KRC Genk player receiving four yellow cards from 27 games for Leicester City.
The England Championship is not for the fainthearted, but Ndidi has been in more demanding scrapes and should be up for the fight. Ndidi was touted as one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League but needs to rediscover his form to get back to the reckoning.
Paul Onuachu started his European sojourn at Danish side FC Midtjylland. He burst into reckoning at KRC Genk, helping the Belgian side to the Belgian Cup in 2021. The heroics of the gangly striker saw him win the Belgian First Division A Top Goalscorer in 2021 and the Belgian Professional Footballer of the Year.
He also won the Belgian Golden Shoe with 16 goals from 19 appearances. It was enough to convince Southampton to shell out €21 million for his services.
Currently valued at €13 million, Onuachu has to rediscover his Belgian form in the England Championship after failing to score in 11 Premier League appearances.
In Jamilu Collins, Cardiff have a gem on their hands. The Kaduna-born left-back is yet to break into the team but can take the England Championship by storm. The former Paderborn defender joined the Welsh side in May 2022 and managed just four appearances.
The 28-year-old defender got his first call-up to the national team for an Africa Cup of Nations qualification match against Seychelles on 11 September 2018.
Collins will have plenty of eyes on him as he continues his quest to prove he owns the left-back position for the Super Eagles.
The 25-year-old Samuel Kalu made a splash in Ligue 1 with Bordeaux. The former AS Trenčín winger mesmerized in the French elite division that Watford forked out £3.5million for the Nigerian star.
The Super Eagles winger has failed to live up to the billing, but it can be attributed to a lack of opportunities. He featured four times for Watford in the tail-end of the 2021/22 season and nine times in the 2022/23 season.
Kalu is yet to find the net for Watford, but things might change for him this term as he looks to stake a claim to stardom with Watford in the England Championship.
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 hour ago