Top 10 Nigerian Football Strikers in Europe

Today, a new generation of Nigerian footballers are making a significant impact across European leagues, showcasing exceptional talent and skill on the pitch. Their performances not only elevate their respective teams but also serve as a source of inspiration for aspiring footballers back home in Nigeria and across Africa. With one of the most formidable attacking lines globally, Nigeria stands at the forefront of producing top-tier talent that continues to shine brightly on the international stage.

1. Victor Osimhen

Club: Napoli

Achievements: Victor Osimhen has quickly become one of Europe’s most exciting strikers. Known for his explosive speed, physical presence, and clinical finishing, he has been a crucial player for Napoli. In the 2022-2023 season, Osimhen was the top scorer in Serie A, leading Napoli to their first league title in over three decades. This achievement has made him a beloved figure in Naples, where fans celebrate his every goal.

His incredible season also earned him a spot in the Ballon d'Or top 10, the highest-ranking ever for a Nigerian player. Although the 2023-2024 season hasn’t been his best by his own high standards, Osimhen remains one of Europe’s most prolific forwards. His performances have attracted the attention of top clubs, with Arsenal and Chelsea among those keen to sign him.

Osimhen's future is a hot topic in the transfer market, as his talent and potential make him one of the most sought-after players in the game. Whether he stays in Naples or moves to a new club, his journey is one that football fans around the world are eager to follow.

2. Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen)

Victor Boniface, born on December 23, 2000, in Akure, has made a significant mark in European football, currently playing for Bayer 04 Leverkusen. His journey began with Real Sapphire FC (2018-2019), followed by stints at FK Bodö/Glimt (2019-2022) and Royale Union St. Gilloise (2022-2023), before joining Bayer 04 Leverkusen in 2023.

Boniface has had an outstanding career in the Bundesliga, playing 23 matches and winning 18 of them, all with Leverkusen. His impressive tally includes 14 goals in these matches. In the 2023/24 season, Boniface played a pivotal role in Leverkusen's historic campaign, helping them clinch their first-ever Bundesliga title and ending Bayern Munich's decade-long dominance.

In his debut season with Leverkusen, Boniface scored 14 goals and provided nine assists, showcasing his ability to both score and create opportunities. His performances were instrumental in Leverkusen's unbeaten run in the German league, a dream season for any player. Boniface's contributions have firmly established him as a key player for 'Die Werkself' and a rising star in European football.

3. Ademola Lookman

Ademola Lookman has been a standout performer for Atalanta in the 2023/2024 Serie A season, featuring in 31 matches and accumulating 1,900 minutes of playing time. He has started 22 of these games and made an additional nine appearances as a substitute. Over the course of the season, Lookman has scored 11 goals and provided seven assists, ranking him joint seventh in Serie A for assists.

Despite a challenging year marked by losses in both domestic and international finals—the AFCON final and the Coppa Italia—Lookman led his team to a remarkable triumph in the Europa League, securing Atalanta's second-ever trophy in the competition. His hat-trick in the final against Bayer Leverkusen ended their 361-day unbeaten run and made him the first player to score three goals in a UEFA Europa League final. Lookman's three spectacular goals in the final were a testament to his skill and determination, capping off a Europa League campaign where he scored five goals and provided one assist in 11 appearances.

Lookman's journey from a deprived area in Wandsworth and Peckham to football stardom is an inspiring tale of resilience and perseverance. In the documentary 'South of the River,' he recounted how he would often rely on friends for meals after football games due to the lack of food at home, and how his mother's struggles fueled his drive to succeed as a professional footballer.

His performances this season have not gone unnoticed, with many tipping him to win the CAF Player of the Year award, which would make it back-to-back victories for Nigeria following Victor Osimhen's win the previous year. Lookman's impact on the pitch, combined with his inspiring personal story, has made him a beloved figure both at Atalanta and among football fans worldwide.

4. Paul Onuachu

Club: Trabzonspor

Paul Onuachu, born on May 28, 1994, is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Süper Lig club Trabzonspor on loan from Premier League club Southampton, as well as for the Nigeria national team. Standing at an imposing 6'7", Onuachu is a towering presence in the box, known for his aerial prowess and clinical finishing.

Onuachu has enjoyed a successful career, winning league titles in Denmark and Belgium. During his time in Belgium with Genk, he was a formidable goal-scorer, netting 79 goals in 114 league games. His standout season came in 2020-2021, when he scored 33 goals to become the top scorer in the Belgian Pro League, earning him the Belgian Footballer of the Year award and the Golden Bull trophy for top scorer.

His prolific scoring record caught the attention of Southampton, who signed him while Nathan Jones was the manager. Despite scoring 15 goals and providing four assists in the Süper Lig during the 2023/2024 season, Onuachu's time at Southampton was challenging, with the club suffering relegation after just 11 league appearances from him. He subsequently moved to Turkey, where he continued to display his goal-scoring prowess.

In the current campaign with Trabzonspor, Onuachu has scored 17 goals and provided four assists in 25 games across all competitions, making him the club's top scorer. Despite a seven-week absence due to a left arm fracture and Africa Cup of Nations commitments, he maintained an impressive average of 0.71 goals per game. This achievement saw him surpass Alexander Sörloth's previous record of 0.70 goals per game from the 2019-2020 season, when Sörloth scored 24 goals in 34 league matches.

Onuachu's performance has made him one of the most effective goal-scorers in Trabzonspor's recent history, equaling Andreas Cornelius's 15 goals from the past four seasons and exceeding Sörloth's average goal return. His contributions have been crucial for Trabzonspor, and his goal-scoring exploits continue to attract attention from top clubs and fans alike.

5. Terem Moffi

Club: Nice

Terem Moffi is a Nigerian professional footballer who currently plays as a forward for Nice in Ligue 1. Born on May 25, 1999, in Nigeria, Moffi is 24 years old, stands 188 cm tall, and is predominantly left-footed. He initially joined Nice on loan in January 2023, with the move being made permanent in the summer transfer window.

Moffi has been a revelation in Ligue 1, first showcasing his goal-scoring prowess with Lorient before moving to Nice. Known for his strength, speed, and finishing ability, he has quickly established himself as one of the top strikers in the French league. In the 2023/2024 season, Moffi has scored 11 goals, ranking him joint eighth in the league and making him the top scorer for Nice.

During his initial stint with Nice last season, Moffi played 16 Ligue 1 games, scoring six goals and providing three assists. His time at Lorient saw him make 87 league appearances, netting 34 goals and providing six assists. His impressive form at Lorient led to his loan move to Nice, which was subsequently made permanent in July 2023.

Overall, Moffi's Ligue 1 career has been marked by 133 appearances, in which he has scored 51 goals and provided 11 assists. His consistent goal-scoring ability and impactful performances have solidified his reputation as one of the league's premier forwards, and he continues to be a key player for Nice in their quest for success.

6. Taiwo Awoniyi

Club: Nottingham Forest

Taiwo Awoniyi’s journey from Liverpool's youth system to becoming a key player for Nottingham Forest has been nothing short of remarkable. His goals were instrumental in helping Forest secure promotion to the Premier League. Known for his blend of power, pace, and finishing, Awoniyi is a constant threat to defenders.

In the 2023/2024 Premier League season, Awoniyi has been a significant contributor for Nottingham Forest. He has made 20 appearances, accumulating 1,044 minutes of playing time. He has been included in the starting lineup for 12 of these matches and has come off the bench in eight. Awoniyi last played on May 19 in a 2-1 victory against Burnley, where he featured for 11 minutes. This season, he has found the back of the net six times in the Premier League.

Before joining Nottingham Forest in June 2022, Awoniyi had an impressive spell at Union Berlin, where he made 31 league appearances, scoring 15 goals and providing one assist. His performance in the Bundesliga showcased his goal-scoring ability and played a significant role in his move to the Premier League.

7. Gift Orban

Club: Olympique Lyonnais

Orban's rise in European football has been nothing short of meteoric since his move to Jupiler side Gent in January 2023. The Nigerian striker quickly made a name for himself by showcasing his goal-scoring prowess, scoring an impressive 20 goals in just 22 games during his initial half-year with the Buffaloes.

Despite not yet making his debut for the Super Eagles, Orban has garnered attention across Europe for his talent in finding the back of the net. His achievements include finishing as the top scorer in Norway’s second tier in the 2022 season before earning a transfer to Gent, where he continued to impress with 26 goals in 31 appearances. Notably, he set a record in the UEFA Europa Conference League with the fastest hat-trick in a UEFA club competition, scoring three goals in just three minutes and 25 seconds against Istanbul Basaksehir.

Recently, Orban has faced a slight downturn in form, however, his early performances have already marked him as a player with immense potential for the future.

In a subsequent move to French side Olympique Lyonnais, Orban aims to replicate his earlier success. Though he has faced challenges in Ligue 1, appearing in 13 matches and scoring one goal without assisting, his talent remains evident

8. Kelechi Iheanacho

Club: Leicester City

Kelechi Promise Iheanacho, born on October 3, 1996, is a Nigerian professional footballer who has made a significant impact both for Leicester City in the Premier League and the Nigeria national team. Known for his prolific goal-scoring ability and creative skills, he has been a standout talent since his youth.

During the 2023/2024 season, Iheanacho played a crucial role for Leicester City in the Championship, making 23 appearances and accumulating 915 minutes on the field. He started in 10 of these matches and came on as a substitute in 13 others, contributing six goals across 26 matches in all competitions. His performances were instrumental in Leicester City's successful campaign, culminating in them clinching the EFL Championship title and securing promotion back to the Premier League.

Nicknamed "Senior Man," Iheanacho is celebrated for his vision, dribbling prowess, speed, and clinical finishing abilities. His versatility as a forward has made him a valuable asset for Leicester City and a key player in Nigeria's national team setup.

As he prepares to depart Leicester City as a free agent in July 2024, Iheanacho leaves behind a legacy of memorable performances and contributions to the club's success.

9. Sadiq Umar

Club: Real Sociedad

Sadiq Umar's journey in European football has been a tale of highs and challenges since his impactful debut on the world stage during the 2016 Olympics, where he helped Nigeria secure a Bronze medal. After making waves with Almería in Spain, where he scored 20 goals in 37 games across all competitions, he earned a significant transfer to La Liga giants Real Sociedad, becoming their record signing.

Despite a promising start with Almería, Sadiq faced difficulties at Real Sociedad. His time in Donostia-San Sebastian was marked by injuries, limiting his playing time to just 1,363 minutes and resulting in a modest return of three goals for the season. Additionally, his tenure at the club was marred by a controversial exit from the Super Eagles camp during the African Cup of Nations, adding to the challenges he faced off the pitch.

Before joining Real Sociedad in September 2022, Sadiq showcased his goal-scoring ability with Almería, tallying 40 goals and 13 assists in 79 league appearances. His La Liga debut for Real Sociedad on September 3, 2022, against Atlético Madrid saw him continue his scoring form with a goal, highlighting his potential in Spain's top-flight league.

In his La Liga career thus far, Sadiq has appeared in 31 games, scoring six goals and providing one assist. Despite the setbacks, the Nigerian striker remains determined to rediscover his goal-scoring touch and make a significant impact in front of goal once again.

10. Rafiu Durosinmi

Club: Viktoria Plzeň

Rafiu Durosinmi, born on January 1, 2003, in Lagos, Nigeria, is emerging as a promising young talent in European football. Starting his journey in his hometown, Durosinmi developed a passion for football and began his youth career with Box2Box FC in Nigeria before catching the eye of scouts from MFK Karviná in the Czech Republic.

Making his professional debut in the 2021-22 season with MFK Karviná, Durosinmi showcased his potential by scoring 3 goals in 19 appearances in the Czech First League. His impressive performances led to a loan move to Viktoria Plzeň in January 2023, where he continued to shine, scoring 4 goals in 15 matches. This successful loan spell earned him a permanent transfer to Viktoria Plzeň for the 2023-24 season.

Standing tall at 1.92 meters, Durosinmi is known for his height and technical prowess on the field. His form at Viktoria Plzeň has been outstanding, with 6 goals in just 11 league appearances this season. Additionally, he has made significant contributions in European competitions, scoring 3 goals in 8 appearances.

At the age of 21, Durosinmi is already making waves as one of Nigeria's most promising young forwards. His performances have not only impressed on the field but also earned him a market value of €5 million, reflecting his potential and growing stature in European football. As he continues to develop, Durosinmi appears poised for a bright future, potentially making a leap to top leagues such as the Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1, Serie A, or Bundesliga, where his skills and physical attributes can further flourish on a bigger stage.

Tamuno Reuben

Those who seek knowledge seek power because the pen is mightier than the sword.

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