Posted by: westafricanfootball | 08/07/2012

OBSERVATIONS FROM THE NIGERIA PREMIER LEAGUE 2012

* On 04.07.2012, Abdulrahman Bashir of ABS FC scored his 12th goal of the season. Bashir has been described as a petit, hard-running striker with a massive work-rate. According to SuperSport, Bashir and his teammate Bright Esieme, the right-back who played for Abia Warriors FC last season, are on the radar of top club Kano Pillars FC.

* Edo Nnamso is an interesting player at Akwa United FC. Nnamso, popularily called “Cameroon”, is a right-back or right-winger who has been captaining the team during the season. Nnamso is known as an expert from set-pieces and his free-kicks are top shelf. Nnamso has scored four goals so far this season.

* Abdul Ajagun (born 10.02.1993) of Dolphins FC is currently in top form, having scored four league goals so far this season. Earlier this week, Ajagun returned to the squad of the Nigeria U-20 national football team. Ajagun has previously played for Nigeria in the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Ajagun has been described as a dynamic, free-moving attacking midfielder, who loves moving forward into dangerous positions.

* Dolphins FC has struggled in front of goal this season and hopefully, the signing of Ortega Deniran (born 28.05.1986) could put an end to the problems. Deniran has an impressive CV and has scored goals in Guatemala, China, Bulgaria and Armenia.

* Uche Kalu (born 16.05.1986) is arguably the best striker at Enyimba FC but his goalscoring record in the Nigeria Premier League has never been impressive. As far as I know, Kalu has never scored more then five league goals during a season, which happened in 2007. Kalu is a strong, hard-working player who is on the fringes of the Nigeria national football team. So far this season, Kalu has scored two goals. To be fair, Kalu has been struggling with injury throughout his career, which could explain the lack of goals.

* Sani Sanusi of Gombe United FC had eight goals per 07.04.2012 but needed almost 11 weeks to score his ninth. Sanusi, formerly of Zamfara United FC, has now 11 goals to his name, one more than teenage sensation Mustapha Babadidi who has been injured since March / April 2012.

* Attacking midfielder Austin Ekpoma (born 01.08.1991) of Gombe United FC has been wonderful lately. Apparently, Ekpoma has played 28 matches and scored six goals so far this season. Ekpoma is a former player of Zamfara United FC and Niger Tornadoes FC. Ekpoma forms a strong midfield with the experienced Manu Sunday Gidado and Alhaji Kwairanga (born 28.12.1987).

* Veteran midfielder Chidozie Johnson (born 06.03.1983) has joined Heartland FC. Johnson, the former captain of Enyimba FC, started the season at Warri Wolves FC.

* Big, powerful striker Mohammed Gambo (born 10.03.1988) of Kano Pillars FC has scored 12 goals so far this season. His partnership with Mannir Ubale (born 02.07.1991) has been sparkling lately.

* Imenger Barnabas of Kwara United FC has been described as a natural striker with a great final touch. Barnabas, most likely born in 1992, scored two goals against Sharks FC on 04.07.2012. The first goal was a real beauty and can be watched in the following clip:

http://www.supersport.com/football/nigerian-premier-league/video/167751

The clip also shows great goalkeeping from the brilliant Kazeem Yekeen (born 01.12.1992) of Kwara United FC, clever play from Gomo Onduku, the star player of Sharks FC, and a thunderbolt shot from his teammate Hope Fiberisima (born 17.09.1990), a defensive midfielder with physical strength.

* Niger Tornadoes FC has signed goalkeeper Mustapha Salihu (born 01.12.1987), formerly of Kwara United FC. Salihu played for Tornadoes during the Nigeria Premier League 2007-2008. His teammate Sibi Gwar (born 09.09.1987) is still top scorer in the league with 14 goals.

* Okiki Afolabi of Shooting Stars FC could be a player to watch. The talented winger has been training with the Nigeria U-20 national football team lately. However, the player of the moment at 3SC is left-back Mutiu Adegoke (born 10.02.1984). The experienced Adegoke has scored seven goals so far this season, most of them from free-kicks and penalties. The left-foot of Adegoke is arguably the best in the league. The picture is of Adegoke and was found on MTN Football.

* Sunshine Stars FC has apparently signed the talented Cameroonian midfielder Mario Williams Elimbi. Elimbi is a former player of Tiko United FC and Mount Cameroon FC.


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