Nigerians who scored a Premier League hat-trick

Nigerians who scored a Premier League hat-trick
Credit: Iconsport

Throughout the history of the English Premier League, Nigerian footballers have left an indelible mark with their skill, talent, and remarkable performances on the pitch.

Among their many achievements, scoring a hat-trick stands as a testament to their prowess and ability to dominate top-flight football.

In this article, we delve into the five Nigerians who have achieved the rare feat of scoring a hat-trick in the Premier League.

From iconic moments to unforgettable displays of skill, join us as we celebrate the Nigerian stars who have etched their names into the annals of English football history.

The only Nigeriens who scored a hat-trick in the Premier League so far

Yakubu Aiyegbeni

Yakubu Aiyegbeni in action for Everton
Credit: Icon Sport

Yakubu Aiyegbeni, affectionately known as Yakubu, has solidified his status as one of Nigeria's most formidable strikers in Premier League history.

Boasting an impressive tally of four Premier League hat-tricks, Yakubu's goal-scoring prowess shone brightly during stints with renowned clubs such as Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Everton, and Blackburn Rovers.

Notably, in November 2004, while donning the Portsmouth jersey, Yakubu left an indelible mark by notching a memorable hat-trick against Middlesbrough, etching his name into the annals of Premier League folklore.

Renowned for his ability to find the back of the net, Yakubu holds the esteemed title of the highest-scoring Nigerian footballer in Premier League history, having amassed nearly a century of goals across his tenures with Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, and Everton.

The dynamic forward's penchant for hat-tricks was evident from early on in his Premier League career.

His first treble came in the form of a sensational four-goal haul for Portsmouth against Middlesbrough on the final day of the 2003/04 season, setting the stage for an illustrious goal-scoring journey ahead.

Subsequently, Yakubu's goal-scoring prowess continued to shine as he kicked off the following campaign with another scintillating hat-trick in a thrilling 4-3 victory over Fulham in August.

Demonstrating remarkable consistency, Yakubu's formidable goal-scoring touch haunted Fulham once more during his Everton tenure, where he notched another hat-trick against the Cottagers.

Yakubu's stellar performances further culminated in a fourth Premier League hat-trick, this time for Blackburn Rovers, as he showcased his prowess with yet another four-goal spectacle against Swansea in December 2011.

With his four hat-tricks, Yakubu stands shoulder to shoulder with esteemed company, including the likes of Les Ferdinand, Carlos Tevez, and Jermain Defoe, solidifying his place as one of the Premier League's most prolific goal-scorers.

Efan Ekoku

Efan Ekoku
Credit: @80s90sfootball on X

Efan Ekoku etched his name into the annals of English football history with his remarkable feats on the pitch.

As the first Nigerian to net a Premier League hat-trick and the inaugural player to exceed a three-goal tally in the rebranded division, Ekoku made an unforgettable mark during Norwich City's clash against Everton in September 1993.

Joining Norwich from third-tier Bournemouth amidst their surprise title race, Ekoku's arrival injected newfound vigor into the team, culminating in a string of remarkable performances.

Despite his late-season arrival, Ekoku wasted no time in leaving his mark, notching three crucial goals in just 10 games to bolster Norwich's title aspirations.

The following season saw Ekoku continue his goal-scoring prowess, with one memorable moment coming in Norwich's European campaign.

In a historic match against Vitesse Arnhem in the UEFA Cup, Ekoku secured his place in Norwich's record books by scoring the club's first-ever European goal.

However, it was his unforgettable performance against Everton that truly solidified his place in football folklore.

In a stunning display of skill and precision, Ekoku netted four goals in a resounding 5-1 victory over Everton on Merseyside.

His flawless hat-trick, coupled with a clinical finish past the goalkeeper for his fourth, showcased Ekoku's unparalleled talent and cemented his legacy as a trailblazer in Premier League history.

Kanu Nwankwo

Former Super Eagles player, Nwankwo Kanu
Credit: Icon Sport

Kanu‘s unforgettable hat-trick stands as one of the most legendary moments in Premier League history, solidifying his place in Arsenal's storied folklore.

The Nigerian striker, who joined the north London side from Inter Milan, brought with him a wealth of experience, having enjoyed success with renowned clubs like Ajax and Inter, as well as securing Olympic gold with the Nigerian national team in 1996.

Kanu's iconic hat-trick occurred during his debut full season in the Premier League, in a high-stakes London derby against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

With Arsenal trailing 2-0 and just 15 minutes left on the clock, Kanu stepped up to deliver a masterclass in goal-scoring prowess.

His first goal showcased his agility and precision as he swiftly turned to slot the ball into the net. Moments later, Kanu found the back of the net once more with a powerful strike, leveling the scoreline to the delight of Arsenal fans.

However, it was his third goal that etched his name into footballing history, as he skillfully maneuvered past the Chelsea goalkeeper before calmly slotting the ball home, completing his hat-trick and sealing a remarkable comeback victory for the Gunners.

Kanu's match-winning performance against their capital rivals remains a cherished memory for Arsenal supporters, epitomizing his status as a true legend of the game.

Peter Odemwingie

Peter Odemwingie
Credit: @dnizismohoops on X

Peter Odemwingie's unforgettable hat-trick etched his name into the history books of West Bromwich Albion, as he played a pivotal role in a resounding victory over local rivals Wolves in the Black Country derby.

The Nigerian international showcased his goal-scoring prowess at Molineux, leading West Brom to a commanding 5-1 triumph over their struggling opponents.

Odemwingie wasted no time in making his mark, opening the scoring with a deflected strike that set the tone for the Baggies' dominance.

He continued to torment the Wolves defense, adding a second goal with a close-range finish from a West Brom corner.

However, it was his third goal that sealed his place in West Brom folklore, as he ruthlessly capitalised on a swift counter-attack to complete his hat-trick and compound Wolves' misery.

The emphatic victory not only highlighted Odemwingie's immense talent but also served as a statement of West Brom's superiority in the fiercely contested Black Country derby.

Kelechi Iheanacho

Kelechi Iheanacho could be a great option for West Ham's attack
Credit: Icon Sport

Kelechi Iheanacho‘s remarkable performance against Sheffield United solidified his place in Premier League history as the fifth Nigerian player to score a hat-trick in the prestigious competition.

His outstanding display propelled Leicester City to a resounding victory, further bolstering their push for a coveted spot in the Champions League.

The Nigerian forward showcased his exceptional goal-scoring prowess with three clinical finishes, each demonstrating his impeccable timing and confidence on the ball.

His first two goals, expertly dispatched from Jamie Vardy crosses, highlighted his instinctive ability to find space and convert opportunities with precision.

Iheanacho's third goal, a thunderous strike from just outside the penalty area, epitomized his confidence and determination as he capitalized on the Sheffield United defense's hesitation.

With this unforgettable hat-trick, Iheanacho not only propelled Leicester to victory but also solidified his status as a formidable force on the Premier League stage.

Table of Nigerian players who scored a Premier League hat-trick 

Name of the Player Number of Hat-Tricks Teams Scored Against
Yakubu 4 Middlesbrough, Fulham x2, Swansea City
Efan Ekoku 1 Everton
Nwankwo Kanu 1 Chelsea
Peter Odemwingie 1 Wolves
Kelechi Iheanacho 1 Sheffield United

This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago

Rababe Koussaimi, a 22-year-old journalist, is deeply passionate about the world of sports. She grew up in a footballing environment, supporting both Bayern Munich and Wydad Athletic Club. She began her English journalism career by hosting a podcast for the first English radio station in Morocco. Currently, the Moroccan journalist channels her enthusiasm into writing and conducting extensive research, creating insightful and engaging content for GoalBall Live readers.