Sodje names former Chelsea star Babayaro as greatest Nigerian to play in Premier League

The 40-year-old feels the former Super Eagles full-back was extra influential than his compatriots in the English top-flight

Former Nigeria worldwide Sam Sodje has named Celestine Babayaro as the greatest Nigerian to play in the Premier League, forward of the likes of John Obi Mikel and Yakubu Aiyegbeni.

Babayaro had an illustrious enjoying profession in the English top-flight, the place he featured for Chelsea and Newcastle United.

The left-back spent eight years at Stamford Bridge after arriving from Belgian outfit Anderlecht and featured in 132 league video games.

The Premier League title eluded him however he gained the FA Cup, Uefa Cup Winners’ Cup and Uefa Super Cup earlier than becoming a member of the Magpies, the place he spent three years.

Numerous Nigerian gamers additionally graced the Premier League like Mikel, Nwankwo Kanu, Yakubu, Joseph Yobo, Peter Odemwingie and John Utaka, amongst others.

Mikel performed 249 league video games throughout his 11-year stick with Chelsea and he’s regarded as probably the most embellished Nigerian participant.

The midfielder gained one Champions League title, one Europa League, two Premier League trophies, three FA Cups as nicely as League Cup and Community Shield diadems.

Kanu, in the meantime, performed for Arsenal, West Bromwich Albion and Portsmouth, the place he left an indelible mark, whereas Aiyegbeni was well-known for his goalscoring prowess in the division throughout his enjoying years with the Pompey, Middlesbrough and Blackburn Rovers.

Yobo, on his half, was rock stable for the Toffees after arriving at Goodison Park as David Moyes’ first signing in 2003 and featured 196 instances in the Premier League earlier than leaving in 2014.

Sodje, nevertheless, feels Babayaro made extra affect in the English top-flight than his compatriots who performed in the highly-rated league. 

“You have to give respect to likes of Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Efan Ekoku for scoring plenty goals and the players who played more 50 games in the premier league,” Sodje informed Brila FM.

“So I give respect to Yobo, Mikel, but I won’t lie to the Nigerians who brought influence on premier are Babayaro and Kanu, but I love Babayaro and will say he’s the best.”

Sodje made 4 appearances for the Super Eagles and performed for plenty of English golf equipment together with Brentford, Reading, Charlton Athletic and Portsmouth earlier than his retirement.

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