With the 2022/23 season halfway through and the action back in full swing after the World Cup break, a host of Nigerian footballers are making their mark in Europe, topping their club’s goalscoring charts, he writes. EBENEZER BAJELA

Victor Osimhen (Naples)

Osimhen is head and shoulders above the other goalscorers on the continent at the moment and added his 10th league goal of the season on Sunday when Napoli defeated Sampdoria 2-0 away.

It was a valuable triumph for the Partenopei, who lost their first league game of the season at Internazionale on Wednesday, as they immediately got their title challenge back on track ahead of a visit from Juventus on Friday.

Osimhen’s latest goal keeps him at the top of the Serie A goalscoring table, two ahead of Lautaro Martínez, Marko Arnautovic and M’Bala Nzola, while he also cemented his place as Napoli’s top scorer with 12 goals in all competitions.

Closest to the Nigerian is Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who has six league goals and eight in all competitions.

The former Lille player’s impressive goalscoring form also saw him equal a record set by the legendary George Weah in the Italian top flight.

Osimhen and Weah are the only Africans to have scored double figures in three separate Serie A campaigns, the last being between 1995 and 1998.

The Nigerian is still far from the Liberian president’s overall goal in Italy’s top flight; Weah scored 46 in five seasons with AC Milan, the most by an African player in the league, while Osimhen currently has 34 since he joined Napoli from Lille in 2020.

Paul Onuachu (Genk)

After a sloppy start to the 2022/23 season, Onuachu has rediscovered his goalscoring form and the Nigerian marked his 100th Belgian Pro League appearance with a fine shot as he latched on to Joseph Paintsil’s cross to deliver a top-flight effort. beyond Simon Mignolet, in the Bruges goal, on Sunday to show that he is still one of the best strikers in Europe.

It was the striker’s 14th goal in 15 games this season and he has 71 goals in 100 games with six assists since joining the club three years ago from Denmark.

The 28-year-old is Genk’s top scorer and has scored exactly twice as many goals as the club’s second-highest scorer, Bryan Heynen.

Chuba Akpom (Middlesbrough)

Akpom’s meteoric rise this season has surprised many, as the Arsenal academy graduate continued to score goals with reckless abandon.

The 27-year-old has flourished under manager Michael Carrick this term.

Since the former Manchester United midfielder took over at the Riverside on October 24, Akpom has scored 10 goals in 11 games in all competitions, all inside the box.

Boro won seven of those matches, thus establishing himself firmly in the race for Championship promotion.

Overall, the Super Eagles hopeful has scored 15 goals this season for the Championship side, making him the club’s top scorer, nine goals more than Matt Crooks who is the club’s second-highest scorer.

Such form saw Akpom linked with a return to the Premier League, but the Teesside club have since moved quickly to take the option to extend Akpom’s contract until the summer of 2024.

Akpom is thriving and it will take something special to displace them as the league’s leader in form.

Odion Ighalo (Al Hilal)

After finishing the 2021/22 season as the top scorer in Saudi Arabia, contributing 24 goals for Al-Shabab and Al Hilal, Ighalo is enjoying another stellar season with Al Hilal in the Saudi Professional League and his scoring form is improving. despite his age. .

The 33-year-old striker has already scored eight goals in 12 appearances for Al Hilal this season, making him the club’s top scorer ahead of Moussa Marega, who has netted only half of Ighalo’s goals.

The Nigerian is one goal behind Al-Nassr’s Brazilian striker Anderson Talisca for the league’s top scorer award.

Folarin Balogun (Reims)

Arsenal striker Bologna has enjoyed a productive loan spell at Ligue 1 side Reims this term, scoring 10 goals and providing two assists in 16 top-flight appearances.

The 21-year-old joined Arsenal’s academy in 2011 but struggled to break into the Gunners’ first team and has made only 10 senior appearances, scoring twice and assisting one more in the process.

However, his loan spell has been magical and the forward has proven to be a consistent goalscorer in Ligue 1 and is currently Reims’ top scorer.

Balogun’s importance to the French team is enormous, as the club’s next top scorer, Junya Ito, has only found the back of the net four times.

Terem Moffi (Lorient)

Moffi is another Nigerian who has been very impressive in front of goal this season.

The 23-year-old rose to prominence in Ligue 1 this season, scoring 10 goals in 16 league games for Lorient.

So far, only PSG duo Kylian Mbappé and Neymar have scored more than the striker, and it’s no surprise that he’s considered a target for many European clubs with timid Southampton interested in the striker.

The Nigerian international is Lorient’s top scorer, followed by Dango Ouattara, who has only managed five goals this season.

Peter Olayinka (Slavia Prague)

Having become an integral part of the Slavia Prague team that won three Czech Pro League titles in consecutive seasons, Olayinka is enjoying another season with the club with another impressive display in front of goal.

Although he is leaving the club when the season ends in June, Olayinka remains the club’s top scorer in the current campaign with 11 goals to his name, one more than Stanislav Tecl and Ondřej Lingr, both tied at 10 goals. .

Moses Simon (Nantes)

While he may not be operating as Nantes’ number 9, Moses’ contribution to the French side cannot be overemphasized.

The winger was only dethroned on Sunday as the club’s top scorer by Mostafa Mohamed, who scored his sixth goal in the Coup de France.

However, the Nigerian remained Nantes’ top scorer in the league with five goals.