Despite the novel coronavirus pandemic hitting the finances of countries and businesses across the world, European clubs are still spending big on players in preparation for the coming league season.
A few clubs have invested in Nigerian footballers, and more are still expected as the transfer window gears up for more movement in the coming weeks.
Victor Osimhen made an €80 million move from Lille to Napoli in what is one of the most significant transfers involving an African footballer in history, and there may be not many bigger money moves this summer.
The 21-year-old Super Eagles striker followed up his excellent scoring spell at Sporting Charleroi with an equally brilliant maiden campaign at Lille, and it was no surprise that some of Europe’s elite sides were in the race for his signature.
Napoli eventually won that race, though, and Osimhen will lead the attack for Gennaro Gattuso’s men as he looks to paint the Serie A red with goals.
Also impressive in the Ligue 1 last season was livewire Nigerian forward Moses Simon. The 25-year-old winger, then on loan from Levante, was Nantes’ most efficient attacker netting nine goals and providing eight assists.
The Yellow Canaries desired more of the same output and shelled out €5 million to prise him away from the Spanish club.
While that was a pleasing move, Cyriel Dessers’ decision to switch the Eredivisie for the Jupiler Pro League after enjoying the most spectacular campaign of his career was a shocking one.
The 25-year-old Super Eagles invitee scored 15 league goals for lowly Heracles Almelo to top the goalscorer’s chart in the Dutch top division, and many expected him to take the step up to one of Europe’s five traditional big leagues.
But he chose to return to his country of birth after KRC Gent paid €4 million for his services.
Sylvester Igboun has also completed a permanent transfer to Dynamo Moscow for €2 million after spending last season there on loan from fellow Russian side Ufa.
The 29-year-old Sly managed four goals and two assists in 26 games, but his energetic displays saw Dinamiki hand him a contract until 2022.
Another Nigerian star, Blessing Eleke, has quit FC Luzern to team up with Belgian Proximus League club Beerschoft for €1.5 million after an impressive two years with the Swiss side.
The former Gorica forward could have done better than the second division in Belgium, but a prolific spell down there could see the 24-year-old secure a more eye-catching move in the coming windows.
Super Eagles hopeful Jordan Kadiri will also be featuring in the Belgian Proximus League next season after the young forward joined Lommel SK for €1.2 million.
The exciting 20-year-old striker contributed to nine goals (six goals, three assists) in just 14 games for Sweden’s Ostersunds, and he’s one to be on the lookout for in the months ahead.
Former Golden Eaglets captain Samson Tijani became a Salzburg player in July, but the 18-year-old defensive midfielder has been sent on loan to Hartberg for the 2020/21 season.
Hapoel Haifa has taken up prolific Nigerian striker William Agada on loan while Armenian side Urartu Yerevan have added power-playing defensive midfielder Ugochukwu Ike to their playing personnel.