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Nigerians abroad: Top performers over the weekend

Nigerians abroad: Top performers over the weekend

Nigerian players were very much in the thick of the football action across Europe during the past weekend, giving fans back home a lot to be happy about.

Here is a look at some of the best performers.

Chidozie Awaziem (Hajduk Split)

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The Boavista loanee scored the only goal as his team, Hajduk Split, recorded a 1-0 win over Croatian 1. HNL side Rijeka.

It was his second goal for the club having netted against NK Lokomotiva in a 2-1 win, in just his second appearance for Hajduk.

Awaziem looks very settled in the city of Split as he has played in every game since his arrival bar one he missed due to suspension for accumulating yellow cards.

Ademola Lookman (Atalanta)

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The forward seems to be enjoying life in the Italian city of Bergamo as he scored in Atalanta’s 1-0 Serie A win over Fiorentina at the weekend, his first goal in the colours of the club.

The 24-year-old has been ever-present for Le Dea since his move from RB Leipzig in the summer. He has contributed three assists before his maiden goal and with Atalanta unbeaten so far (W6 D2) and sitting joint top on the log, more great performances are certain of coming from Lookman.

Joe Aribo (Southampton)

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The Nigerian midfielder’s move to the English south coast was seen as a massive coup after impressing in three seasons for Scottish giants Rangers.

Indeed, he has gotten into the groove at St. Mary’s with two goals, the second coming in Saturday’s 2-1 home loss by Everton.

It might be five defeats in eight Premier League games for the Saints but Aribo looks like someone who will be a key figure in their efforts to recover from their poor start to the season and return to the solid side Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team are known to be.

Peter Olayinka (Slavia Prague)

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The 26-year winger has been on the fringes for the Czech giants this season, featuring only five times in 10 league matches.

Olayinka has been an unused substitute four times while coming off the bench twice. He has made three starts, the third coming in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Slovan Liberec. He played for 88 minutes and netted his first goal of the season.

The ex-Gent man was very active for Slavia last term, featuring 24 times of which 19 where starts and being an unused substitute just once. Hopefully, his performance on Sunday will convince Jindrich Trpisovsky to give Olayinka more playing time.

William Agada (Sporting Kansas City)

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The former Hapoel Jerusalem forward continues to light up Major League Soccer with his goal against Seattle Sounders at the weekend taking his tally to eight.

Agada had been on a goal drought since joining Kansas this year but came alive with his first goal (brace) for the club in a 4-2 win over Los Angeles FC. Since then, all his goals have come in the space of nine matches.

Kansas have had a dismal 2022 as they languish in 12th spot in the Western Conference and have no chance of making it to the playoffs. They can however look to a more positive 2023 with Agada continuing to fire on all cylinders.

Paul Onuachu (Genk)

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The lanky striker is undoubtedly prolific, evidenced by his 23 goals competitive last season and not forgetting his 35 goals in 2020-21 which earned him the Belgian Professional Player of the Year and the Golden Shoe as well.

Onuachu hasn’t started well this season as he has fired blanks in all league games. That however changed on Saturday when be netted his first goal of the season in a 2-1 league win at Oostende. It was the ex-FC Midtjylland player’s third consecutive league start of the campaign having come off the bench in the previous four games.

This might be the boost Onuachu needs for him to have another productive season with Genk.

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