Top 10 Nigerian seasonal Premier League highest goal scorer

Top 10 Nigerian seasonal Premier League highest goal scorer
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The season is over in England, and for the second year in a row, Erling Haaland has emerged as the Premier League highest goal scorer.

Many Nigerians have featured in the elite division of English football, but none of them has ever emerged as the Premier League highest goal scorer.

However, in their exploits in one of the toughest leagues in the world, Nigerian players have flown the Nigerian flag high.

Top names like Nwankwo Kanu, Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Austin Jay-jay Okocha have tantalized the English fans with their skills, but how close have they come to emerging as the Premier League highest goal scorer?

Here is a list of Nigerians with the highest goals in a season in the Premier League.

Premier League highest goal scorer per season: Ranking the Nigerian players

10 – Elijah Adebayo
Luton Town | 10 goals | 2023/24

Nigerian Premier League highest goal scorer - Elijah Adebayo
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Elijah Adebayo is eligible to play for England and Nigeria, as he was born in England but of Nigerian descent.

Elijah has signalled his intention to play for the Super Eagles but is yet to get a call-up.

The Luton Town centre forward led the Hatters to promotion to the Premier League in 2023.

In his first Premier League season with Luton Town, Elijah scored ten goals.

The tally put him in 30th place in the Premier League highest goal scorer chart.

09 – Taiwo Awoniyi
Nottingham Forest | 10 goals | 2022/23

Nigerian Premier League highest goal scorer - Taiwo Awoniyi
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After several transfers that saw him traverse between Liverpool and Bundesliga side Union Berlin, Taiwo Awoniyi finally cut ties with the Reds, settling with Nottingham Forest.

Awoniyi has a best league tally of 15 goals at Union Berlin. At Nottingham Forest, the Super Eagles forward helped the tricky trees survive relegation.

Awoniyi was not the Premier League highest goal scorer, but his ten goals were vital in the survival race of Nottingham Forest.

08 – Emmanuel Dennis
Watford | 10 goals | 2021/22

Nigerian Premier League highest goal scorer - Emmanuel Dennis
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Emmanuel Dennis started his football journey with Kwara Football Academy in Ilorin.

The Super Eagles star travelled a bit in Europe before landing in England with Watford FC in the 2021/22 season. It was his best season with the Hornets.

The exploits of the former Club Brugge striker led to an invitation to the Super Eagles, but since his ten-goal Premier League tally with Watford, he has not been able to replicate that form.

Dennis is number eight on our ranking.

07 – Obafemi Martins
Newcastle Utd | 11 goals | 2006/07

Nigerian Premier League highest goal scorer - Obafemi Martins
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Obafemi Martins is one of the most popular players to adorn the Super Eagles jersey.

Obagoal has been around, touring several countries. In all his journies, Martins spent four years in England (three at Newcastle Utd and one at Birmingham City).

Martins had his best Premier League stint with Newcastle United in the 2006/07 season, where he scored ten goals.

In the other seasons with the Magpies, Martins scored nine and eight goals.

06 – Kelechi Iheanacho
Leicester City | 12 goals | 2020/21

Nigerian Premier League highest goal scorer - Kelechi Iheanacho
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Kelechi Iheanacho is respected within the Nigerian circle and internationally.

Many believe he made a mistake by joining Manchester City, but it was with the Citizens that he enjoyed his most prolific form.

The arrival of Pep Guardiola spelt the end of a budding career at the Etihad.

Senior man did not finish as the Premier League highest goal scorer in any of his campaigns in the elite division, but his 12 goals in the 2020/21 season saw him finish 11th on the scorers chart.

Iheanacho is yet to match the 12 goals he scored in 2020/21, with his best tally being eight.

05 – Nwankwo Kanu
Arsenal | 12 goals | 1999/00
Portsmouth | 10 goals | 2006/07

Nigerian Premier League highest goal scorer - Nwankwo Kanu
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Nwankwo Kanu spent many years in England, traversing between Arsenal, Portsmouth and West Bromwich Albion.

Kanu does not have a prolific goal-scoring record and never came close to emerging as the Premier League highest goal scorer.

In 113 appearances for Arsenal, Kanu scored 30 goals – a poor return for a striker of his stature.

Kanu's best Premier League tally came in his first full season with Arsenal, where he scored 12 goals. He never equalled that feat, with the closest he came to doing so being at Portsmouth in the 2006/07 season.

Kanu scored ten goals for Pompey.

04 – Efan Ekoku
Norwich City | 12 goals | 1993/94
Wimbledon | 11 goals | 1996/97

Few people will remember Efan Ekoku.

The former Wimbledon and Norwich City striker played for the Super Eagles between 1994 and 1995.

Ekoku was part of the all-conquering Super Eagles side that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and helped the team reach the second round at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the USA.

Ekoku scored his highest Premier League goals in 1994 in the clours of Norwich City.

He scored 12 goals to finish in the top 20 Premier League goal-scorers that season.

Ekoku also hit another 11 goals two seasons later with Wimbledon.

03 – Peter Odemwingie
West Bromwich Albion | 15 goals | 2010/11
West Bromwich Albion | 10 goals | 2011/12

Nigerian Premier League highest goal scorer - Peter Odemwingie
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Peter Osaze Odemwingie started his professional football career with Bendel Insurance of Benin.

Despite having dual nationality (Russian & Nigeria), he opted to play for his fatherland – a decision he never regretted.

Odemwingie had his best spell in England with West Bromwich Albion. He spent three years with the Baggies and enjoyed his richest goal-scoring form with 30 goals from 87 games.

Odemwingie scored 15 goals in his first season at West Brom and another ten the following season.

Only two Nigerians have bettered his 15 goals a season in the Premier League. Odemwingie finished fifth in the race to become the Premier League highest goal scorer in 2011.

02 – Odion Ighalo
Watford | 16 goals | 2015/16

Nigerian Premier League highest goal scorer - Odion Ighalo
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Odion Jude Ighalo spent three years with Watford (one in the Championship and two in the Premier League).

The former Granada took the Premier League by storm in his debut season.

After scoring 20 goals in the Championship, nobody expected him to shine in the Premier League, but Ighalo had other ideas.

The former Julius Berger forward scored 16 goals in his first Premier League season to finish sixth on the scorers chart. It is the third-highest finish by a Nigerian in the Premier League.

01 – Yakubu Aiyegbeni
Blackburn Rovers | 17 goals | 2011/12 – Portsmouth | 16 goals | 2003/04
Everton/Leicester City | 15 goals | 2007/08 – Middlesbrough | 13 goals | 2005/06
Portsmouth | 12 goals | 2004/05 – Middlesbrough | 12 goals | 2006/07

Nigerian Premier League highest goal scorer - Yakubu Aiyegbeni
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Yakubu Aiyegbeni is the most consistent Nigerian striker ever in the Premier League.

Wherever the Yak goes, goals follow, and he delivered in most of the clubs he played for.

He is the highest-scoring Nigerian of all time in the Premier League. His most prolific season was in 2011/12, where he scored 17 goals. No Nigerian has beaten that record to date.

Aiyegbeni's 17 goals saw him finish fourth on the goal scorers chart behind Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero.

It is also the highest finish by any Nigerian. Despite Aiyegbeni's exploits, the title of Premier League highest goal scorer eluded him.

Below is the table of Nigeria's Premier League highest goal scorers.

# Name Club Goals Year
1 Yakubu Aiyegbeni Blackburn Rovers 17 2011/12
2 Odion Ighalo Watford 16 2015/16
3 Yakubu Aiyegbeni Portsmouth 16 2003/04
4 Yakubu Aiyegbeni Everton/Leicester City 15 2007/08
5 Peter Odemwingie West Bromwich Albion 15 2010/11
6 Yakubu Aiyegbeni Middlesbrough 13 2005/06
7 Efan Ekoku Norwich City 12 1993/94
8 Yakubu Aiyegbeni Portsmouth 12 2004/05
9 Yakubu Aiyegbeni Middlesbrough 12 2006/07
10 Nwankwo Kanu Arsenal 12 1999/00
11 Kelechi Iheanacho Leicester City 12 2020/21
12 Obafemi Martins Newcastle Utd 11 2006/07
13 Nwankwo Kanu Portsmouth 10 2006/07
14 Efan Ekoku Wimbledon 11 1996/97
15 Emmanuel Dennis Watford 10 2021/22
16 Taiwo Awoniyi Nottingham Forest 10 2022/23
17 Elijah Adebayo Luton Town 10 2023/24
18 Peter Odemwingie West Bromwich Albion 10 2011/12
19 Efan Ekoku Norwich City 9 1994/95
20 Ade Akinbiyi Leicester City 9 2000/01
21 Shola Ameobi Newcastle Utd 9 2005/06
22 Obafemi Martins Newcastle Utd 9 2007/08
23 Obafemi Martins Newcastle Utd 8 2008/09
24 Kelechi Iheanacho Manchester City 8 2015/16
25 Efan Ekoku Norwich City 7 1995/96
26 Austin Jay-Jay Okocha Bolton Wanderers 7 2002/03
27 Austin Jay-Jay Okocha Bolton Wanderers 6 2004/05
28 Daniel Amokachi Everton 6 1995/96
29 Nwankwo Kanu Arsenal 6 1998/99
30 Finidi George Ipswich Town 6 2001/02
31 Victor Moses Wign Athletic 6 2011/12
32 Victor Anichebe Everton 6 2012/13
33 Nwankwo Kanu Arsenal 5 2002/03
34 Shola Ameobi Newcastle Utd 5 2002/03
35 Shola Ameobi Newcastle Utd 5 2003/04
36 John Utaka Portsmouth 5 2007/08

This article was most recently revised and updated 3 weeks 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).