Best Midfielder in Nigeria – Top List of Extraordinary Players

Best midfielder in Nigeria

Nigerian midfielders are known for their athleticism, technical skills and physicality. They play a crucial role in controlling the game and linking defense with attack. Nigerian midfielders typically display excellent ball control, passing ability and a good sense of positioning.

Many Nigerian midfielders excel in both the offensive and defensive aspects of the game. They contribute to the team’s attacking play by providing accurate passes, through balls and creating scoring opportunities. At the same time, they possess the physicality and tactical awareness to disrupt opponent attacks, regain possession and protect the defense.

Nigerian midfielders are typically versatile and adaptable, capable of playing in different midfield positions. They can operate as central midfielders, defensive midfielders, attacking midfielders or even wide midfielders. This flexibility allows them to contribute effectively in various tactical configurations.

In addition to their technical and tactical skills, Nigerian midfielders are often praised for their work ethic, determination and resilience. They show a strong desire to succeed and showcase their talents both nationally and internationally, representing Nigeria in various competitions.

In this article, we list and explain the best midfielders in Nigeria. Therefore, we suggest that you read the article in its entirety to understand the topic well.

Top 5 Nigerian Midfielders

Here is the list of the 5 best midfielders in Nigeria:

Yes. No.




Samuel Chukwueze



Wilfred Ndidi



Alex Iwobi



Ola Aina



Kelechi Iheanacho


1. Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal)

Samuel Chukwueze is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a winger for Spanish club Villarreal CF. He was born on May 22, 1999 in Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria. Chukwueze began his youth career at the Diamond Football Academy in Nigeria before joining Villarreal’s youth team in 2017.

Chukwueze made his senior debut for Villarreal in November 2018 and has since become an integral part of the team. Known for his pace, his dribbling ability and his ability to create scoring opportunities, he has impressed fans and critics alike with his performances on the field.

One of Chukwueze’s notable achievements came in the 2020-2021 season when Villarreal reached the UEFA Europa League final. Chukwueze played a crucial role in helping the team to the title, contributing with goals and assists throughout the competition.

However, he suffered a hip injury during the final match and had to undergo surgery, causing him to miss a significant portion of the 2021-2022 season.

2. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester)

Wilfred Ndidi is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for English club Leicester City. He was born on December 16, 1996 in Lagos, Nigeria. Ndidi began his football career at Nigeria’s Nath Boys Academy before joining Belgian club KRC Genk in 2015.

Ndidi made his senior debut for KRC Genk in 2015 and quickly established himself as a key player in the team. Known for his great attacking ability, interceptions and positional sense, he caught the attention of several major clubs with his performances in the Belgian Pro League.

In January 2017, Ndidi signed for Leicester City of the English Premier League. He immediately made an impact and became a regular starter for the team. His ability to break up play, regain possession and distribute the ball effectively earned him praise from fans and pundits alike.

Ndidi has continued to impress at Leicester City, putting in consistently good performances in midfield. He has played a vital role in the team’s successes, including their historic Premier League title in the 2015-2016 season. His performances have also earned him recognition and praise as one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League.

3. Álex Iwobi (Everton)

Alex Iwobi is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder or winger for English club Everton. He was born on May 3, 1996 in Lagos, Nigeria. Iwobi is the nephew of former Nigerian footballer Jay-Jay Okocha and grew up in a family with a strong football background.

Iwobi began his youth career at Arsenal and joined their academy at the age of eight. He progressed through the ranks and made his senior debut for Arsenal in October 2015. He quickly established himself as a versatile attacking player, capable of playing in multiple positions in the front line.

During his time at Arsenal, Iwobi demonstrated his technical skills, vision and ability to create scoring opportunities for his teammates. He had several notable performances for the club and scored some important goals, including goals in the UEFA Champions League and Premier League.

On the international stage, Iwobi has represented the Nigerian national team since 2015. He has participated in major tournaments such as the African Cup of Nations and has been an important player for Nigeria, contributing with goals and assists.

4. Ola Aina (Torino)

Ola Aina is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a full-back or full-back for Italian club Torino. He was born on October 8, 1996 in London, England. Although born in England, Aina chose to represent the Nigerian national team internationally.

Aina began her youth career in Chelsea’s academy and progressed through the club’s ranks. He made his debut for Chelsea’s first team in August 2016 in a League Cup match. Aina primarily played as a right back, but was also capable of playing as a left back or in a more advanced role on the wing.

In search of regular playing time, Aina joined Hull City on loan for the 2017-2018 season. He made a significant impact during his loan spell, earning praise for his performances and versatility. Aina returned to Chelsea after her loan spell, but was subsequently loaned out again, this time to Torino in the Italian Serie A for the 2018-2019 season.

On the international stage, Aina made her debut for the Nigerian national team in 2017. She has represented Nigeria in tournaments such as the African Cup of Nations and has been a constant presence in the national team setup.

5. Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester)

Kelechi Iheanacho is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a striker for English club Leicester City. He was born on October 3, 1996 in Imo State, Nigeria. Iheanacho rose to prominence as a young talent in Nigerian football and came to European football at a relatively young age.

Iheanacho began his professional career at Nigerian club Taye Academy before moving to Manchester City’s youth academy in 2014. He quickly made an impact and was promoted to Manchester City’s senior team in 2015. During his time at Manchester City, he showed his scoring ability and demonstrated his potential as a young promise.

In August 2017, Iheanacho joined Leicester City in a £25 million transfer. Since he arrived at Leicester he has had moments of brilliance, contributing with important goals and assists. Iheanacho has shown his versatility in attack, capable of playing as a central striker or in a deeper role as a support striker.

On the international stage, Iheanacho has represented the Nigerian national team. He made his senior debut in 2015 and has been a consistent member of the team. He has participated in tournaments such as the African Cup of Nations and has been recognized as one of Nigeria’s greatest attacking talents.

Who is Nigeria’s number one midfielder?

Jay-Jay Okocha, whose real name is Augustine Azuka Okocha, is a retired Nigerian professional footballer who is widely regarded as one of the greatest Nigerian players of all time. He was born on August 14, 1973 in Enugu, Nigeria.

Okocha’s football career spanned several clubs and countries. He began his professional career with Enugu Rangers in Nigeria before moving to Europe to join German club Borussia Neunkirchen in 1990. He later played for clubs such as Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany, Fenerbahce in Turkey, Paris Saint-Germain in France and Bolton Wanderers. In England.

During his time in the English Premier League with Bolton Wanderers, Okocha gained significant recognition and became a fan favorite. His dribbling skills, his technical ability and his incredible style made him a pleasure to watch. He earned the nickname “Jay-Jay” because of his initials and his playing style, which often left his opponents bewildered.

Off the field, Okocha’s charismatic personality and incredible skill made him a popular figure in the football world. He has been widely respected and admired for his talent and recognized as one of the best African players of his generation.

After retiring from professional football, Okocha has been involved in various football-related activities, including being a football ambassador and participating in charitable initiatives.

Popular midfielders in Nigeria

There have been several popular Nigerian midfielders who have made a significant impact both nationally and internationally. These are some of the best-known Nigerian midfielders:

Austin Okocha: As mentioned above, Austin “Jay-Jay” Okocha is one of the most popular Nigerian midfielders of all time. Known for his incredible dribbling skills, style and creativity, Okocha played for clubs such as Eintracht Frankfurt, Fenerbahce, Paris Saint-Germain and Bolton Wanderers.

John Obi Mikel: John Obi Mikel gained popularity as a midfielder for both Chelsea in the English Premier League and the Nigerian national team. He was known for his composure, strong tackling and ability to dictate play from deep midfield positions.

Sunday Oliseh: Sunday Oliseh is a former Nigerian international midfielder who had a successful European club career. He played for clubs such as Ajax, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund. Oliseh was known for his leadership qualities, passing ability and long-distance shooting.

Kanu Nwankwo: Although primarily a striker, Kanu Nwankwo often acted as an attacking midfielder during his career. He was known for his technical skills, vision and ability to score goals. Kanu achieved success at clubs such as Ajax, Inter Milan and Arsenal.

Jay-Jay Okocha: Apart from Austin Okocha, Jay-Jay Okocha’s nephew Alex Iwobi has gained popularity as a midfielder. Iwobi played for Arsenal before moving to Everton and has demonstrated his versatility, dribbling ability and ability to create chances.

These are just a few examples of popular Nigerian midfielders. Nigeria has a rich football history and has produced many talented midfielders who have left a lasting impact on the game.

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