Nigerian Footballers' Careers that didn't take off in British Leagues
On the back of a recent article I wrote on Nigerian players who had forgettable times in either the English or Scottish Premier League, I present a further 8 Super Eagles whose careers did not fly to their desired destination in Great Britain.
Rabiu Ibrahim – he had a forgettable time at Celtic and Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premier League between 2012 and 2014. In the former, he made only 1 appearance whilst in the ltter he managed 16 dour appearances. In late 2007, Ibrahim had been included by World Soccer in its 50 Most Exciting Teen Footballers list and, in March of the following year, he was featured by InsideFutbol.com in an article on young African footballers. Sadly Many believe Rabiu Ibrahim never fulfilled anything close to his potential for the Super Eagles.
John Utaka – he struggled to light up the English Premier League when he was in Portsmouth between 2007 and 2011 where he managed a meagre 10 goals in 90 games (though he contributed to the FA Cup success with a decent performance in the final). He had a decent career with the Super Eagles.
Chidiebere Nwakali: he tried his luck in Aberdeen in the Scottish Premier League in 2018 but the nomadic midfielder failed to impress.
The 23 year old former Manchester City midfielder managed just 5 bland outings in Scotland which left a sour taste in the fans' tounges as he was promptly moved on by the club. Nwakali, who was recently sacked by his erstwhile club Kalmar FF in Sweden, continues to struggle to gain a foothold in Club football after a successful under 17 career.
Blessing Kaku: the 42 year old former Super Eagles midfielder tried his luck with Bolton Wanderers in the English Premer League in 2004. After just one game, the club saw enough to conclude that he was no Okocha!
Reuben Gabriel: the one time Patrick Viera of Nigeria went to Scotland in 2013 to try his luck in Kilmarnock but actually requested to leave after just a handful of matches. The club gladly accepted his request. Gabriel was part of Nigeria's squad to the 2014 World Cup. Many fans question why he was included in that squad as he was deemed not to be a Super Eagles material by many.
Ifeanyi Udeze: he had it tough in the English Premiership during his one season stint with West Bromwich Albion in 2003. Udeze found fame with the Super Eagles particular in 2002 when his dashing display from left back evoked healthy rivalry with legendary full back Celestine Babayaro.
Isaac Okoronkwo: during his one season stint with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the English Premiership in 2003, he failed to impress.
Isaac Success: another case in question. Since his £10 million record move from Granada to Watford ,he has been a shadow of himself. Injuries have contributed largely to his misfortune, but I also think that he didn’t help himself in the area of self discipline at the early stages of his premiership sojourn.
The English premiership is such a tough league that entails a high level of self discipline to survive.