After Everton snapped up Alex Iwobi from Arsenal in the region of £35m, Futbalgalore.com has compiled a list of most expensive football transfers, which details the highest transfer fees ever paid for Nigerian players.
1) Alex Iwobi (Arsenal-Everton, 2019) £35m
Iwobi has 36 caps for Nigeria, scoring six times, and was integral to the Super Eagles’ impressive showing at this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations, scoring the all-important winner in a thrilling last 16 clash against previous holders Cameroon.
After the Toffees had a bid of £30m rejected on Wednesday, it is understood that they went back in with an offer of between £35m and £40m on deadline day, which was accepted by the north London club.
Iwobi, the nephew of Nigerian legend Jay-Jay Okocha, was born in Lagos, Nigeria before moving to England when he was four. Iwobi played 149 games for Arsenal, scoring 15 times and contributing to 42 goals.
2) Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City–Leicester City, 2017) £27m
After two years of goals and many displays of his potential, Kelechi Iheanacho left Manchester City.
The Foxes paid the Sky Blues a £27 million fee to complete the deal, and City included a £50 million buyback clause in case Iheanacho turns into the best striker in the Premier League in a few years.
Iheanacho is an Academy product that made his debut with a game-winner at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace back in 2015, and he went on to score 26 goals in 73 appearances for the club.
He has endured a difficult spell at Leicester City.
3) Odion Ighalo (Watford–Changchun Yatai, 2017) £20m
Watford sold Nigeria Odion Ighalo to Chinese Super League side Changchun Yatai for £20m in 2017
Ighalo joined the Hornets in 2014 from Italian side Udinese and helped Watford win promotion to the Premier League in the 2014-15 campaign.
He scored 15 top-flight goals in 2015-16, but had only one Premier League goal in the following season and went 15 games without scoring in all competitions.
During his time with the Hornets, Ighalo played 100 times in all competitions and scored 39 goals.
His prolific run of form continued in China with 36 goals in 55 appearances for Changchun.
Ighalo moved to Shanghai Shenhua following relegation to Changchun and he has bagged seven so far in the current season.
4) Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow-Leicester City, 2017) £17m
Linked with Tottenham, Everton and Southampton for some time, the forward left CSKA Moscow for Leicester City in 2017.
Leicester City made Musa their fourth signing of the summer, believed to be for a club-record fee of £17m then. He didn’t actually get things running for the Foxes.
5) John Obi Mikel (Lyn Oslo-Chelsea, 2006) £16m
Having been described as a ‘very special talent’, the Nigerian departed for Chelsea in 2006 following a controversial tussle that involved the Blues and Manchester United. His sojourn to Stamford Bridge produced series of trophies including the Premier League, Champions League and Europa League.
6) Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk-Leicester City, 2016) £15m
Having shone for Genk in the Belgian Pro League, the midfielder became Leicester City’s major signing in December 2016. He has risen to become an important member of the Foxes. Ndidi is one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League.
7) Isaac Success (Granada-Leicester City, 2016) £12.5m
On 1 July 2016, Success agreed a five-year deal with Watford in a record transfer fee, estimated around £12.5 million from Granada.
8) Emmanuel Emenike (Spartak Moscow-Fenerbahce, 2013) £11.35m
Nigeria striker Emmanuel Emenike completed a move to Fenerbahce from Spartak Moscow in 2013.
Emenike was joint-top scorer when Nigeria won the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa in February.
9) Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Middlesbrough–Everton, 2007) £11.25
Yakubu completed a club record of £11.25m deal to Everton after he was granted a work permit.
Portsmouth were also said to be interested in re-signing Yakubu, who they bought from Maccabi Haifa in 2003, before selling him to Boro two years later for £7.5m.
He clocked up 29 goals in 65 Premier League games at the Riverside.
Yakubu featured in Boro’s opening two Premier League games of the season but missed the next two games against Fulham and Newcastle.
10) Obafemi Martins (Inter Milan-Newcastle United, 20,06) £10m
Obafemi Martins joined Newcastle United from Inter Milan for £10m in 2006.
Martins who was seen as a replacement for Alan Shearer, signed a five-year deal after agreeing terms and coming through a medical.