Nigeria have failed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations since 2013, when they won the competition. The current squad contains plenty of young talent including Premier League stars Wilfred Ndidi and Alex Iwobi making them strong contenders for this year’s tournament. There is no shortage of pacey wingers emerging too with the likes of Henry Onyekuru and Samuel Kalu both capable of becoming top class players on FIFA 19 Career Mode.
How to choose the best Nigerian wonderkids in FIFA 19 Career Mode
Each player on this list must start FIFA 19 Career Mode aged 23 or younger giving them plenty of time to reach their full potential. Their potential overall rating must be 80 or higher meaning they can become top level performers for their clubs. They must also start Career Mode with an overall of 70 or higher so they can contribute straight away in the first team.
Henry Onyekuru (OVR 76 – POT 86)
Age: 21Position: LM, STClub: GalatasarayCountry: NigeriaBest Stats: 91 Agility, 91 Jumping, 90 Sprint SpeedCost: N/AWage: £49,000
On-loan Everton winger Henry Onyekuru has enjoyed a fruitful season with Turkish giants Galatasaray, scoring nine goals in their bid for the title. Galatasaray are yet to lose a league game in 2019, although Onyekuru has not scored since he hit a hattrick in a 6-0 win over Ankaragucu in January.
Onyekuru is lightning fast and is an excellent dribbler making him a dangerous attacking threat from the wide positions. Unavailable to sign as he is on loan from Everton, managers should wait to sign the 21-year-old as he can reach 86 OVR.
Samuel Kalu (OVR 75 – POT 86)
Age: 20Position: RM, RWClub: BordeauxCountry: NigeriaBest Stats: 92 Acceleration, 87 Jumping, 83 Sprint SpeedCost: £22 million (release clause)Wage: £23,000
Nigerian youngster Samuel Kalu has been in and out of the Bordeaux starting line-up this season, starting 14 matches and scoring three goals in Ligue 1. Kalu’s form has mirrored the French club’s inconsistency this season as they find themselves in the bottom half of the league.
Blistering 93 acceleration make Kalu a nightmare for defenders and the young Nigerian can be devastating on the counter attack. Managers of clubs competing for European places may want to look at Kalu as he can offer a pacey threat, although he won’t come cheap as he will cost £22 million.
Orji Okwonkwo (OVR 70 – POT 85)
Age: 20Position: LW, CAMClub: Montreal ImpactCountry: NigeriaBest Stats: 89 Acceleration, 89 Sprint Speed, 79 AgilityCost: N/AWage: £12,000
Montreal signed Orji Okwonkwo on loan in February hoping he would have a positive impact on their team for the new MLS season. The exciting winger struggled for Bologna and failed to find the net for them as they find themselves in a relegation scrap in Serie A.
Another rapid Nigerian winger, Okwonkwo has the dribbling skills to utilise his blistering speed although his 48 finishing needs some extra training. His loan spell makes him unavailable to sign however his 85 potential makes him an exciting prospect in seasons to come on FIFA 19 Career Mode.
Samuel Chukwueze (OVR 71 – POT 85)
Age: 19Position: RMClub: VillarrealCountry: NigeriaBest Stats: 87 Acceleration, 85 Sprint Speed, 85 AgilityCost: £12 million (release clause)Wage: £8,000
Samuel Chukwueze is beginning to make a name for himself in La Liga with some eye-catching displays for Villarreal. The teenager’s performances saw him receive his first senior international call-up in November and he will likely be a consistent member of the squad for years to come.
Another player on the list with superb pace and dribbling attributes, Chukwueze can reach 85 overall on FIFA 19 Career Mode. Managers can sign the Nigerian for £12 million although this release clause is likely to increase as he improves quickly.
Wilfred Ndidi (OVR 81 – POT 85)
Age: 21Position: CDM, CMClub: LeicesterCountry: NigeriaBest Stats: 92 Stamina, 90 Jumping, 85 Standing TackleCost: £35 million (release clause)Wage: £47,000
Energetic midfielder Wilfred Ndidi has started all but one of Leicester’s league matches this season, highlighting his importance to the Foxes midfield. Ndidi is also an established member of the Nigeria squad having made 23 appearances already, although he is yet to score for his country.
Already rated 81 overall, Ndidi is a top-quality defensive midfielder as he is mobile, strong, energetic and brilliant defensively. This makes him expensive although he is worth the investment as he can be one of the world’s best holding midfield players.
Alex Iwobi (OVR 78 – POT 84)
Age: 22Position: LM, RM, LWClub: ArsenalCountry: NigeriaBest Stats: 84 Dribbling, 84 Ball Control, 81 Short PassingCost: £26 million (release clause)Wage: £71,000
Arsenal winger Alex Iwobi has enjoyed a decent season under new manager Unai Emery, scoring five goals in all competitions. The Nigerian international will want to increase his goal involvement if he is to start more often for the Gunners but fans have been impressed with his improvement this season.
Iwobi is a technical attacking player, he boasts 84 dribbling and ball control attributes making him comfortable on the ball and difficult to tackle. His £26 million release clause is good value for a player with his quality and pace although his massive wages can be over budget for many teams.
Ola Aina (OVR 74 – POT 83)
Age: 21Position: RB, LM, RMClub: TorinoCountry: NigeriaBest Stats: 89 Acceleration, 88 Sprint Speed, 78 StaminaCost: N/AWage: £41,000
One of many Chelsea players out on loan, Ola Aina may find himself in the Chelsea squad next season due to their recent transfer ban. The 21-year-old Nigerian has excelled since joining Torino featuring regularly as the Turin club try to qualify for the Europa League.
Aina’s physicality is a key part of his game, 89 pace and high attacking work rate mean he constantly pushes forward whilst his skill attributes allow him to play in midfield too. Another Premier League player with inflated wages, managers will want to try to negotiate a better deal for their clubs.
Emmanuel Dennis (OVR 74 – POT 83)
Age: 20Position: LM, RM, STClub: Club BruggeCountry: NigeriaBest Stats: 93 Acceleration, 88 Sprint Speed, 88 JumpingCost: £12 million (release clause)Wage: £13,000
Five goals so far this season for Emmanuel Dennis has helped Club Brugge to second in the league as they try to retain their crown. Dennis is yet to score in 2019 but will hope that changes soon as they try to push league leaders KRC Genk all the way.
£12 million may seem expensive for a 74 rated winger, however speedster Dennis can prove value for money with his pace, trickery and eye for goal. Dribbling, ball control and pace are Dennis’ main assets as he can terrorise the best of defenders.
Victor Osimhen (OVR 71 – POT 82)
Age: 19Position: STClub: Sporting CharleroiCountry: NigeriaBest Stats: 78 Sprint Speed, 75 Acceleration, 75 JumpingCost: N/AWage: £12,000
Teenage wonderkid Victor Osimhen has proved a terrific loan signing for Sporting Charleroi this season as he has scored ten goals in 20 starts. Already capped by Nigeria, the Wolfsburg hitman has a big future ahead of him.
An all-round striker, Osimhen has the attributes to succeed in any gameplan, at 6’1” he is strong in the air and also has the pace to run in behind defences. The teenager is currently on loan so managers will have to wait before they can sign him but Osimhen can prove a real asset to any side.
Kelechi Iheanacho (OVR 74 – POT 82)
Age: 21Position: ST, CFClub: LeicesterCountry: NigeriaBest Stats: 78 Sprint Speed, 78 Acceleration, 77 PositioningCost: £16 million (release clause)Wage: £37,000
Unfortunately for Leicester fans, Kelechi Iheanacho has failed to live up to his £25 million price tag having scored just one goal in 25 league appearances. Although most of these appearances have been from the bench, it is a poor return for the youngster who found the net so regularly for Man City.
Iheanacho still has plenty of time to fulfil his potential, which on FIFA 19 Career Mode is 82. Aged just 21, managers can sign the youngster for just £16 million and he can prove to be a prolific goal scorer at the highest level.
All the best Nigerian Wonderkids
|Henry Onyekuru||21||LM ST||Galatasaray||76||86||N/A||£49k|
|Samuel Kalu||20||RM RW||Bordeaux||75||86||£22m||£23k|
|Orji Okwonkwo||20||LW CAM||Montreal Impact||70||85||N/A||£12k|
|Wilfred Ndidi||21||CDM CM||Leicester||81||85||£35m||£47k|
|Alex Iwobi||22||LM RM RW||Arsenal||78||84||£26m||£71k|
|Ola Aina||21||RB LM RM||Torino||74||83||N/A||£41k|
|Emmanuel Dennis||20||LM RM ST||Club Brugge||74||83||£12m||£13k|
|Victor Osimhen||19||ST||Sporting Charleroi||71||82||N/A||£12k|
|Kelechi Iheanacho||21||ST CF||Leicester||74||82||£16m||£37k|
|Moses Simon||22||LM CF||Levante||76||82||£21m||£18k|
|Oghenekaro Etebo||22||CM CDM LM||Stoke||72||81||£9m||£23k|
|Chidozie Awaziem||21||CB||Caykur Rizespor||74||81||N/A||£7k|
|Samuel Adegbenro||22||LW RW ST||Rosenborg||72||80||£6m||£5k|
|Isaac Success||22||ST RM LM||Watford||73||80||£10m||£33k|
|Aminu Umar||23||LM RM||Caykur Rizespor||75||80||£16m||£11k|
|Uche Agbo||22||CDM CM||Rayo Vallecano||73||80||N/A||£9k|