Four players of Nigerian descent have been named to the prestigious Guardian Uk’s Next Generation 2018: 20 of the best talents at Premier League clubs.
Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, Chelsea’s Faustino Anjorin, Huddersfield Town’s Mustapha Olagunju and West Ham’s Daniel Jinadu have been included on the list of top 20 footballers born between 1 September 2001 and 31 August 2002, otherwise known as first-year scholars.
Of the aforementioned players, only defender Olagunju, who agreed a scholarship deal with the Terriers in April 2018, has not represented England’s youth teams.
On Saka, the newspaper wrote, ”Saka is a left winger who can also play at left-back, who trades on his power, directness, ability to beat his man and final ball. The London-born England under-17 international has a physical solidity that belies his years. With Reiss Nelson on loan at Hoffenheim for the season, he senses sustained opportunity at under-23 level. ”
”Anjorin has been with Chelsea since the age of six, a powerful, box-to-box midfielder who scored eight goals in 24 games for the youth team last season including the last in the 4-0 Youth Cup final second-leg rout of Arsenal at the Emirates,” London football correspondent Dominic Fifield said on Anjorin.
”His athletic qualities are obvious – he is 6ft 2in, strong and fast – but his attitude, understanding of the game and his deftness on the ball are the traits that coaches find especially encouraging. He is eligible to play for both England and Nigeria,” Paul Doyle said on Mustapha Olagunju.
”Jinadu, who is of Nigerian descent, has represented England at youth level and Manuel Pellegrini included him in the first team’s pre-season training camp. It was a big vote of confidence in the youngster’s ability from West Ham’s manager, who will expect him to progress at youth level this season,” Jacob Steinberg praised Jinadu.
Liverpool’s Dominic Solanke, Man City’s Tosin Adarabioyo, Sunderland’s Josh Maja and Crystal Palace’s Joseph Hungbo were named among the best prospects at Premier League clubs in the past.