Mikel the greatest Nigerian to play in the Premier League - Nwosu | SPORTS
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Former Nigeria international Henry Nwosu has picked John Obi Mikel as the greatest Nigerian player in the Premier League ever.

The midfielder joined Chelsea in the summer of 2006 after the Blues resolved their transfer dispute with rivals Manchester United, who had previously announced the signing of the then 18-year-old.

Since making his debut for the Blues under Jose Mourinho, Mikel went on to spend 11 years with the side, winning the Champions League, Europa League, two Premier League titles, three FA Cup trophies, one League Cup and Community Shield diadem.

“Mikel is ahead of them. He was consistent during his time. He performed so well for Chelsea,” the former Super Eagles midfielder told Goal.

Nwankwo Kanu is another notable Nigerian who played in the English top-flight. The lanky forward arrived in England in 1993 joining Arsenal from Ajax.

He spent three years with the Gunners, helping the side to win two Premier League titles, two FA Cup trophies and one Community Shield.

Kanu left the Emirates Stadium to team up with West Bromwich Albion before joining Portsmouth, where he won the FA Cup.

“Kanu did not perform as well as Mikel. We are not talking about individual play here but Kanu did his best,” he added.

Okocha, meanwhile, featured for Bolton Wanderers and spent four years with the club after arriving from Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain and played a key role to help them keep their Premier League status throughout his stay.

Another amiable Nigerian player to grace the English top division is Celestine Babayaro. 

Yakubu Aiyegbeni, meanwhile, played  for Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Everton, Leicester City, Blackburn Rovers, scoring a number of goals.

“Yakubu, Osaze and Babayaro did their best for their clubs but a tree cannot make a forest. Their performances cannot be compared with Mikel,” he continued.

“Okocha is also an individual player. He excited fans with his skills during his time. He is also a good player.”

Nwosu spent his career in Africa, playing for New Nigeria Bank, African Continental Bank of Lagos, ASEC Mimosas of Ivory Coast and Racing Bafoussam of Cameroon. He had 60 caps for the Super Eagles, scoring eight goals and was a member of the Nigeria squad that won the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations. He also played at the 1982, 1984 and 1988 Afcon tournaments.

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PSG to prepare for UCL, cup finals with Le Havre friendly

Shechin Dashe

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Paris Saint-Germain announced on Wednesday they will play a friendly against second-tier Le Havre in front of up to 5 000 fans to prepare for the Champions League last eight tournament and two domestic cup finals.

PSG returned to training last month ahead of a French Cup final against Saint-Etienne on 24 July, a League Cup decider with Lyon a week later and the European competition in Lisbon beginning on 12 August.

The Le Havre fixture on 12 July will be PSG’s first match since the Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund in mid-March, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ligue 2 side’s Stade Oceane will be able to hold 5 000 spectators with the French government set to ease restrictions on sporting and cultural events from 11 July.

The French title-holders are set to start the defence of their Ligue 1 crown on the weekend of 22 August and are expected to play two further pre-season friendlies.

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Marseille sign Pape Gueye

Shechin Dashe

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Marseille announced the signing of defensive midfielder Pape Gueye on a free transfer from Le Havre on Wednesday after he backed out of a move to Premier League side Watford.

The former France under-19 international had been set to join the Hornets on a five-year deal, but Gueye said last month he would not move to England due to alleged irregularities in the agreement.

Watford announced in April Gueye had signed a pre-contract agreement with the club.

Gueye, 21, instead penned a four-year contract with Marseille before joining his new teammates at a training camp in Portugal.

He made 25 appearances for Le Havre in Ligue 2 this season before the campaign was declared over in April due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gueye is Marseille’s first new arrival of the summer. The club has also tied down defender Alvaro Gonzalez to a three-year deal following a successful spell on loan from Villarreal.

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Gomes leaves Man United after rejecting new contract

Shechin Dashe

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Highly-rated young attacking midfielder Angel Gomes has left Manchester United after rejecting a new contract offer, the Premier League club said on Wednesday.

Gomes worked his way through the ranks to become the first player born in the 2000s to represent United, making his debut against Crystal Palace at the end of 2016-17 season.

But the 19-year-old struggled for regular first-team opportunities under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, featuring in six matches across all competitions this season.

Chelsea have been linked with Gomes in British media reports but their manager Frank Lampard has dismissed suggestions his club made a lucrative offer for the player.

“I can elaborate to the point that it’s never been mentioned on my end. That’s it,” Lampard said.

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