After another captivating European campaign, several Nigerian youngsters have excelled and reigned supreme, having their dreams forged on the pitch. In this Sporty9ja report, we delve into the exciting realm of the country’s most valuable under-23 stars, witnessing a breathtaking shift in fortunes and a changing of the guard.
Among the rising stars, Gift Orban has experienced a remarkable surge in value over the past six months. Previously valued at a mere €1 million in December, Orban’s worth skyrocketed after his move from Stabaek to Gent in January.
With an impressive record of 20 goals in 22 appearances, including the fastest hat-trick in European Cup competitions, Orban’s value has now reached an impressive €20 million. This places him ahead of Calvin Bassey, who previously held the top spot but has now dropped to second place with a value of €15 million.
Another player making waves is Victor Boniface, who joined Royale Union Saint Gilloise from FK Bodo/Glimt last summer for €2 million. Boniface’s outstanding performances, with 22 goals and 12 assists in 52 appearances, have led to a substantial rise in his value, now standing at €12 million, placing him in the top three of Nigeria’s most valuable U23 players.
Despite experiencing a challenging first year at Club Brugge, Raphael Onyedika remains one of Nigeria’s highly valued U23 players with a worth of €9 million. Alhassan Yusuf, who played a significant role in Royal Antwerp’s first Belgian Pro League title in six decades, falls just short of his career-high value at €5 million, making him Nigeria’s fifth most valuable U23 player.
Lillestrom SK star Akor Adams has had a great year, climbing from a value of €400k early last year to €4 million after scoring 12 goals in 12 games this year. Meanwhile, the KRC Genk duo of Yira Sor (valued at €3.5 million) and Tolu Arokodare (€3 million) secure the seventh and eighth positions on the list.
Nigerian defender Igoh Ogbu, who enjoyed an excellent half-season at Slavia Prague, now holds a value of €2.70 million. Finally, completing the top ten is Willy Agada from Sporting Kansas City, whose value has soared from €1 million to €2.5 million since August.
Unfortunately, Super Eagles goalkeeper Maduka Okoye drops to eleventh place with a value of €2 million, missing out on the top ten rankings.
Here is a list of Nigeria’s most valuable U-23 stars:
1. Gift Orban, 20, KAA Gent – €20.00m
2. Calvin Bassey, 23, Ajax – €15.00m
3. Victor Boniface, 22, RUSG – €12.00m
4. Raphael Onyedika, 22, Club Brugge – €9.00m
5. Alhassan Yusuf, 22, Royal Antwerp – €5.00m
6. Akor Adams, 23, Lillestrøm SK – €4.00m
7. Yira Sor, 22, KRC Genk – €3.50m
8. Tolu Arokodare, 22, KRC Genk – €3.00m
9. Igoh Ogbu, 23, SK Slavia Prague – €2.70m
10. Willy Agada, 23, Sporting Kansas City – €2.50m
NB: Market values source – Transfermarkt