The more relevant a player is, the more he is most likely going to be sold for. This perhaps means that the most expensive Nigerian footballers can be looked at as the most relevant. World football is characterized by big salaries as well as huge transfer fees. Professional footballers are great assets that can be purchased by those that can afford them.
Still, no Nigerian player makes it to the list of the most expensive players in the world. However, just like other players, they the players on this list were bought for staggering prices.
Below are the most expensive Nigerian footballers.
Kelechi Iheanacho – Manchester City to Leicester City-25 €million
Super Eagles and Leicester City striker reigns supreme as the most expensive Nigerian player of all time. He beat Changchun striker, Odion Ighalo to become the most expensive Nigerian footballer. The 21 international achieved this feat when he signed for Leicester City from Manchester City on the 3rd of August, 2017.
Odion Ighalo- Watford to Changchun Yutai- €23.3 million
Odion Ighalo comes second on the list of the most expensive Nigerian players. He is a forward and plays for Changchun Yatai in the Chinese super league. He became Nigeria’s most expensive player in 2016 when Changchun Yatai paid €23.3 million to Watford to secure his move to the Chinese Super League side after a very successful time at Watford. He however lost this position to Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho.
This transfer did not only make Odion Ighalo the most expensive Nigerian player of all time, it also made him the highest paid Nigerian professional footballer at the moment.
John Mikel Obi-Lyn Oslo to Chelsea- €20 million
Mikel Obi is the captain of the Nigerian national team as well as a former Chelsea Football Club midfielder. At the moment, he is the captain of the Chinese side Tianjin Teda. Just before losing the position of the most expensive Nigerian player of all time to Odion Ighalo, John Mikel Obi held this position for about a decade.
The Super Eagles skipper became the most expensive Nigerian player after Chelsea paid a staggering €20 million in 2006 to secure the services of the then 19 year old Nigerian. However, the Nigerian midfielder lost this position to Odion Ighalo after Ighalo moved to China.
Ahmed Musa- CSKA Moscow to Leicester city- €19.5 million
In recent times, Ahmed Musa has not failed to be in the picture each time the financial aspect of Nigerian football is being analyzed. Ahmed Musa is not only one of the highest paid Nigerian professional footballers, he is also one of the most expensive Nigerian footballers of all time. This feat was achieved when Musa made a move from Russian side CSKA Moscow to English premier league side Leicester city for a fee of €19.5 million.
Wilfred Ndidi- Genk to Leicester City- €17.6 million
Wilfred Onyiye Ndidi was born on the 16th of December, 1996. Prior to coming to the limelight, he was a part of the victorious under-17 team of 2013.
Wilfred Ndidi is not just a regular for both the Nigerian National team and Leicester City Football club, he is also one of the most expensive professional football players from Nigeria.
Ndidi became the fifth most expensive Nigerian player after he put pen to paper for Leicester City in 2016. He was signed from Belgian side Genk to English Premier League side, Leicester City for a fee of €17.6 million.
Yakubu Aiyegbeni-Middleborough to Everton- €16.5 million
Edo state born Yakubu Aiyegbeni also known as “the Yak” is a Nigerian professional footballer. He became more popular after his epic miss against South Korea in the 2010 FIFA World Cup that was hosted by South Africa.
Although lots of people know Yakubu Aiyegbeni for the wrong reason, the former super eagles forward is one of the most successful Nigerian strikers at all levels. He was also once Nigeria’s most expensive striker. Yakubu made this list because in he was transferred from Middleborough to Everton in 2007 for a fee of €16.5 million.
Obafemi Martins- Inter Milan to Newcastle- €16 million
Obafemi is one of the few Nigerian professionals that has played football in quite a number of different leagues and has still remained relatively relevant. He came into limelight after he signed for Italian Seria A side, Inter Milan
Obafemi Martins is both one of the most expensive Nigerian footballers as well as one of the highest paid Nigerian players. He joined the club of expensive Nigerian players when he moved from Inter Milan to Newcastle for a fee of €16 million in 2006. This made him the second most expensive Super eagles’ striker for almost a decade.
Isaac Success-Granada to Watford- €15 million
Isaac Success is not one of Nigeria’s most famous professional football players. Although Isaac Success was a part of the under 17 team that won the world cup in 2013, he is still relatively unpopular. This is probably due to the fact that he played just two games before being relegated to the bench because of injuries.
The 21 year old Isaac Success became one of Nigeria’s most expensive players when he signed for Watford from Granada in 2015.
Emmanuel Emenike Spartak Moscow to Fenerbahce- €13 million
Power-house attacker, Emmanuel Emenike is one of the highest paid Nigerian professional football players as well one of the most expensive Nigerian footballers. Although Emmanuel Emenike is far from being one of the most successful of any generation of Nigerian players, he makes it to the list of most expensive Nigerian footballers .
The very well-built Nigerian forward became one of the most expensive Nigerian players when he joined Fenerbahce from Spartak in 2013. This occurred months after a very successful personal outing in the CAF nations cup.
In as much as Emenike’s personal success as a professional footballer is not close to those of many top Nigerian players that cost far less, his financial worth cannot be taken from him.
Brown Ideye-Dynamo Kiev to West Bromwich Albion- €12.63 million
Brown Ideye currently plies his trade in China. He plays for Chinese Super League side, Tianjin Teda. The Bayelsa born 29 year old Nigerian forward began his professional football career with Bayelsa United in 2006, he moved on to Ocean boys in the same year.
In 2014, Brown Ideye was bought by West Bromwich Albion for €12.63 million from Dynamo Kiev. This therefore makes him the 9th most expensive Nigerian professional football player.
It should be noted that the prize paid for a player does not in any way affect the salary the player earns. Also, a player’s price tag should not be mistaken for salary. As a result of this, most expensive Nigerian footballers might not necessarily be the highest paid players.