The English Premier League is seen as arguably the toughest league in the World to play in and is one of the most famous leagues in world football.
It is a division that has its fair share of talented players from home and abroad with several Super Eagles players, past and present, thriving in the English top flight.
In this article, we look at some of the best players to have represented the Nigeria National football team as well as play in the Premier League.
John Obi Mikel
Arguably the greatest Nigerian midfielder of the modern era, the now retired John Obi Mikel headlines this list.
The former Super Eagles captain spent the best part of his illustrious career at the London giants and was a key part of their success under Jose Mourinho and other managers.
He is one of the most decorated midfielders of the Premier League era and the most successful player on this list.
John Obi Mikel.
A @ChampionsLeague Final Masterclass! 💙 pic.twitter.com/7D7PGeE0bF
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) May 18, 2023
Mikel Obi made 249 Premier League appearances for the Blues, scoring one goal and assisting on a further 10. While he was not known for his end product, Mikel was a physical presence at the base of the midfield and a player who could dictate play with his metronomic passing in midfield.
He won the Premier League title two times which is the most of any player on this list.
Crystal Palace/Chelsea/Wigan Athletic/West Ham/Stoke City/Liverpool
Mikel’s former Chelsea and Super Eagles teammate, Victor Moses also makes this list.
Moses had a largely successful career during his time in the Premier League as he played for six clubs in that time but his most successful spell came when he was at Chelsea.
Victor Moses on his first day at Chelsea:
"The first training was unbelievable, seeing JT, Cole, Torres. And the Super Cup, when I was watching it, I was thinking: 'I can't actually believe that I'm here.'"
A key man in our last PL title. He made his own history here 🏆🔵 pic.twitter.com/qGeyTPFc97
— Harry (@HarryCFC170) May 10, 2023
The man who was instrumental in the Nigeria Super Eagles winning the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013 was also a key part of Antonio Conte’s title winning Chelsea team in the 16/17 season.
He made 220 Premier League appearances in his career, scoring 20 times and assisting 18 times.
Jay Jay Okocha
This list won’t be complete if we did not include the hugely exciting Jay Jay Okocha.
His four seasons in the Premier League for Bolton Wanderers were mesmeric and filled with wonderful moments of brilliant skill and technique.
If Chelsea can pay £106 million for Enzo Fernandez, a defensive midfielder, there's no reason why, as an attacking midfielder at the peak of my career, I wouldn't cost between £120 to £150 million in today's market – Jay Jay Okocha
— Instablog9ja (@instablog9ja) May 14, 2023
He was one of the fan favorites during his time at Bolton and is still remembered fondly by the fans of the club.
Okocha made 124 Premier League appearances, scoring 14 goals and assisting a further 11.
Okocha’s nephew and the third man on this list is still a Premier League player. Alex Iwobi is currently a key member of the Everton side looking to steer themselves clear of relegation this season and has been one of their best players.
The current Super Eagles international has represented two Premier League clubs in Arsenal and now Everton. He has made 218 Premier League appearances, scoring 17 goals and assisting another 27.
200 Premier League appearances for Alex Iwobi 👏🏽
— Soar Super Eagles (@SSE_NGA) December 31, 2022
Manchester City/Leicester City
Like Alex Iwobi, the Leicester City man is also playing for a side battling relegation at the moment.
Iheanacho has had a decent Premier League career and is a player who has been key this season for Leicester City. The U-17 World Cup winner also plays a key role for Nigeria Super Eagles and will expect to be a major contribution to AFCON 2023 if the nation gets there.
NO active player in the world has more FA Cup goals than Kelechi Iheanacho 🐐 pic.twitter.com/TiCjTFmwKg
— Soar Super Eagles (@SSE_NGA) January 28, 2023
So far, Iheanacho has made 194 Premier League appearances, scoring 42 goals and assisting on a further 24.
Arsenal/West Bromwich Albion/Portsmouth
One of Nigeria’s greatest ever strikers was already a player with a great reputation before coming to the Premier League but his pedigree was increased further during his time in the top flight.
The two time African footballer of the year award winner played for three clubs in the English top flight with his most successful spell in the League coming at Arsenal.
AM – NWANKWO KANU (Nigeria)
One of the most decorated African players ever. He's another member of the invincible Arsenal squad. We can't forget THAT hat-trick against Chelsea. Papilo was a gem. pic.twitter.com/GVYcLVL10g
— Faceless (@theguyfaceless) May 13, 2023
He made 273 appearances in the Premier League, scoring 54 goals and assisting on 29. He is a two time Premier League Champion.
Kanu might be the most successful Super Eagles striker in Premier League history but this man is the most lethal.
Yakubu Aiyegbeni played in the Premier League for 11 seasons and was a reliable goal scorer throughout. His deadly finishing earned him a strong reputation in the league and he was seen at one time as one of the best strikers in the division.
Yakubu is the highest scoring Nigerian player in premier league history with 95 goals to his name in 252 appearances.
First African to score a UEFA Champions League hat trick (2002)
Most Premier League hat tricks for an African (4)
Youngest African to score a UEFA Champions League hat trick (19 years)
First Player to score against all 20 PL teams
Top Nigerian PL scorer (95) pic.twitter.com/xODmTBvNyp
— Africa Facts Zone (@AfricaFactsZone) April 4, 2022
Honorable mentions goes to Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi, former West Bron, Cardiff and Stoke City striker, Peter Odemwingie and Everton and Norwich defender, Joseph Yobo
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 week ago