It was an atmosphere of mixed feelings for Nigerian players in the English Premier League as the 2022/203 season came to an end on Sunday across different venues in England with Manchester City retaining their title once again.
Super Eagles of Kelechi Iheanachho and Wilfred Ndidi will likely have a taste of what it feels like to play in the English Championship next season after Leicester City was relegated seven years after they won their historic Premier League title. The Foxes needed an outright win against Westham and a positive result at Goodison to stay in the league for another year.
Kelechi Iheanacho started upfront for the Foxes in place of Jamie Vardy and he rewarded his manager’s trust in him as he provided the assist to Harvey Barnes’s goal. The Foxes’ 2-1 victory over Westham wasn’t enough as Bournemouth failed to secure a point at Everton who took the place of Leicester in next year’s competition. The Toffees maintained the record of being among six Premier League teams who have never been relegated.
Wilfred Ndidi who has had a torrid period under the knife this season and didn’t make the match squad.
It was also a sad day for two other Nigerians: Joe Aribo and Paul Onuachu who were both relegated with Southampton to the second tier of the England football team. Joe Aribo was an unused substitute while Onuachu wasn’t in the match-day squad due to injury as the Saints and Liverpool thrilled the fans with an 8-goal thriller.
At the moment, only Taiwo Awoniyi, Alex Iwobi, and Frank Onyeka are the only two SuperEagles players t will play in the Premier League. Iwobi was instrumental for Sean Dyche’s side as he provided seven assists and two goals. The Toffees waited until the final game of the season to secure their place in next season’s Premier League.
Brentford’s position was not threatened going into the final day of the league as they as they finished 9th on the log. Frank Onyeka got the nod to start in midfield as the Bees defeated the league champions by a goal. The midfielder who has struggled with injuries and a lack of form featured for 81 minutes.
It remains to be seen if the four relegated Super Eagles stars will get new offers from clubs within or outside the Premier League when the transfer window opens.