Best signings in the NPFL transfer window so far

Best signings in the NPFL transfer window so far
Credit: Icon Sport

The Nigeria Professional League (NPFL) is full of intrigue and drama. There is no certainty in the league, and if youโ€™re following it all, you can be sure it is edge-of-the-seat drama.

Why is the NPFL uncertain? It is hard to tell, but the underlying issues are money-related. It takes money to run the league, and it is one thing not running aplenty in the NPFL.

There always seems to be an issue with the NPFL. The season would kick off is either uncertain or players are owed salaries and bonuses. Even more, is the issue of signing players.

Players keep the NPFL moving, and despite the lack of recognition they get, these players keep ploughing on.

It is transfer season, and the players are moving clubs. It is hard to track these movements as they seem not well catalogued. Despite this, we will try and unearth what we believe are the best signings of the transfer window yet.

NPFL outfit Plateau United
Credit: Icon Sport

The best transfers in the NPFL 2023

Practically all the clubs have been busy in the transfer market, but the players that have moved so far are not the big names the NPFL is associated with.

Junior Lokosa (Sporting Lagos)

Junior Lokosa is an experienced striker. He has been in top circles, having plied his trade outside the country. The one-time NPFL top scorer returned to Nigeria, first with Remo Stars, but ahead of the new season, Lokosa has moved again.

Lokosa joined the newly promoted side – Sporting Lagos. It is a big move for the Lagos-based side as they seek experience in the attack. To make an impression in the NPFL, they will certainly count on the goals of Junior Lokosa. Lokosa was the NPFL topscorer in 2018 with 19 goals.

Deputy Echeta (Rivers United)

Goals were at a premium for Port Harcourt-based side Rivers United in the NPFL last season. Despite finishing top of their group, they floundered in the Playoffs and almost lost out on a continental ticket.

To avoid such an occurrence this season, they have signed the young and enterprising Bendel Insurance forward Deputy Echeta.

The winger played for the Benin Arsenal and contributed immensely to their unbeaten run. Echeta scored three goals in the league for Insurance last season.

Anthony Okachi (Enyimba)

Enyimba scored 33 goals from 23 matches last season to secure a continental ticket. They need goals to ensure a long, productive campaign in the CAF Champions League. The Peopleโ€™s Elephant thus raided Shooting Stars to sign striker Anthony Okachi to boost their attack.

Isaiah Ejeh (Kwara United)

Kwara United barely survived last season. They came close to going on relegation but took it to the wire. The major problem of the Afoja Warriors was keeping clean sheets. Despite the presence of veteran goalkeeper Dele Aiyenugba, it was a season to forget for the Ilorin-based side.

Defender Isaiah Ijeh returned from Swedish side Mjรคllby AIF for the upcoming season.

Isaiah should marshal the defence for Kwara United.

Samad Kadiri (Remo Stars)

Remo Stars are on the continent again. They have learned a few lessons from the last time out. The Sky Blues have made a massive foray into the transfer market, signing several players.

Samad Kadiri jumps out among the lot. The former Kwara United forward is an exciting signing for the Ikenne-based side, challenging both in the NPFL and on the continent. Samad was the joint top scorer in the Federation Cup with Lobi Stars Joseph Atule. He scored four goals.

Kester Oahimijie (Shooting Stars)

Bendel Insurance made a big splash in the NPFL last season. However, they eventually fizzled out in the Naija Super Six. The main issue with the Benin Arsenal was depth. The boys tired out in the crucial stage of the season.

Bendel Insurance signed Kester Oahimijie to boost their options in midfield. He is an exciting signing, and Insurance hopes he can make a worthwhile contribution as they make a challenge in the CAF Confederation Cup.

This article was most recently revised and updated 9 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter. Chooka has a passion for football and has been a fan of Enugu Rangers (over 30 years) and Real Madrid (Since 1996).