The Italian Serie A witnessed its final round of matches last weekend bringing to an eventful conclusion a long and tortuous football season interrupted by the novel coronavirus.
From the high reaches of the Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, and the Premier League to the subdued corners of Turkey, Albania, and Serbia, Nigerian footballers were involved in making it a memorable campaign.
But who are the Nigerian stars with the most goals contribution in Europe?
While coach Ndubuisi Egbo was leading Tirana to the Albania league title, the first by any Nigerian manager, Kyrian Nwabueze was painting the league red with goals.
The 27-year-old forward smashed in 23 goals and added another five assists to help KF Laci to a top-three finish.
Simeon Nwankwo’s 20 goals and three assists in 37 Serie B games were all Crotone needed to reclaim their elite status in Italy.
The 28-year-old striker was on fire during the business end of the campaign netting seven times in July alone. His reward will be the chance to join international teammates Osimhen and William Troost-Ekong when the Serie A returns later in the year.
Umar Sadiq was too hot to handle for opposing defenders all season, as the Partizan striker contributed to 25 goals in only 24 games in the Serbian top division.
The 23-year-old former Roma star smashed in 12 goals and assisted another 13, but it still was not enough to power his club to glory. Partizan finished second in the league and ended as runner-up in the Cup final.
Up next is Super Eagles target, Cyriel Dessers who scooped the Eredivisie’s top goalscorer award with 15 league goals.
Another five assists mean the Belgian-born star had a hand in half of the 40 goals scored by Heracles Almelo in the season under review.
The 25-year-old striker’s impressive stats convinced Genk he was the real deal, and the Belgian club wasted little time in taking him back to his country of birth.
In Turkey, Anthony Nwakaeme’s 11 goals and nine assists nearly powered Trabzonspor to the Super Lig title, but a late collapse saw Instabul Basaksehir surge to the league crown.
Consolation, however, arrived in the form of the Turkish Cup last week, with Nwakaeme and teammates lifting the trophy, Trabzonspor’s first in a decade.
The 31-year-old had another two goals and an assist in six cup games.
Victor Osimhen’s maiden campaign in France could not have gone any better than it has.
Lille secured the services of the Super Eagles striker for €12 million, and the 21-year-old repaid that trust with 13 league goals and five assists.
Five goals in other cup competitions, including the UEFA Champions League, notified Napoli of his potential, and the Italian side has snapped him up for a hefty fee that has made the youngster Africa’s most expensive ever star.
Despite playing much of the campaign as a left winger, Moses Simon still had a hand in 17 goals (9 goals, 8 assists) for Nantes this season.
The French side were impressed and handed the on-loan Nigerian forward a permanent contract.
Kelechi Iheanacho had ten goals and four assists in 26 games in all competitions for Leicester City, a pleasant return for the former Man City lad who played second fiddle to Jamie Vardy all season.
And there is Emmanuel Dennis, who contributed to 11 goals for Club Brugge (9 goals, two assists) in 33 games as the Belgian giants won the league title and impressed in the Champions League.
Former Manchester City striker, Olanrewaju Kayode scored ten goals for Gaziantep FK in Turkey while Samuel Eduok did one better for Hajduk Split in Croatia.
Chidera Ejuke predominantly played as a winger for Heerenveen, yet the 22-year-old still managed nine goals and four assists in the Eredivisie.
Also, David Okereke and Paul Onuachu both found the back of the net nine times for Club Brugge and KRC Genk respectively in what has been a satisfying 2019-2020 campaign, despite the horrors of the COVID-19 pandemic.