Nigeria have some of the finest finishers across the globe including Nottingham Forest’s Taiwo Awoniyi and Emmanuel Dennis, FC Lorient’s Terem Moffi, Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, Real Sociedad’s Umar Sadiq, and Cremonese’s Cyriel Dessers among many others.
Interestingly, some of these celebrated strikers did not make the top ten list of Nigeria’s most prolific strikers of the year 2022.
Who then made the list?
10. Peter Olayinka: 16 goals in 40 games
Typically deployed as a winger, Peter Olayinka’s natural eye for goal yielded multiple rewards in 2022 as he got on the scoresheet 16 times for former Czech Republic champions, Slavia Prague.
Prominently, Olayinka became Slavia’s all-time highest goalscorer in European competitions with one of his two strikes in the Europa Conference League this season.
9. Cyriel Dessers: 17 goals, 38 games
A memorable 2022 saw Cyriel Dessers score his first-ever goal for the Super Eagles in the 2-1 friendly loss to Mexico in May.
Dessers netted sixteen other goals spread across 36 games for Italy’s Cremonese, Belgium’s Genk, and Eredivisie side Feyenoord.
The 28-year-old striker finished as the highest goalscorer in the maiden edition of the Europa Conference League with ten goals, six of which arrived this year.
The Leuven-born forward would, however, be disappointed with his meagre output of two goals in 13 Serie A games for Cremonese so far.
8. Gift Emmanuel Orban: 19 goals, 24 games
Gift Orban has been the rave of the moment in the Norwegian second division – the OBOS-ligaen – where he has smashed in 16 goals and seven assists in only 22 matches for Stabæk Fotball Club.
The exciting 20-year-old attacker has also registered three goals in two games in the NM-Cup and looks set to leap into a first-tier league soon.
7. Terem Moffi: 19 goals, 39 games
One of Nigeria’s most prolific forwards in France, Terem Moffi has 16 goals for FC Lorient and three goals in six matches for the Super Eagles in 2022.
Moffi’s goals for Nigeria came in the 2-1 loss to Algeria in a friendly in October and in the victory over Sao Tome and Principe in June, where he netted a brace.
6. Victor Boniface: 21 goals, 51 games
One of Nigeria’s most talented young forwards in Europe at the moment, Victor Okoh Boniface has been one of the revelations of 2022.
Remarkably, twenty of Boniface’s goals have come during the 2022/23 season, including five goals in four UEFA Champions League qualifying matches for Norway’s Bodø/Glimt.
Since joining Belgium’s Union Saint-Gilloise, the 21-year-old has added three goals in six Europa League games.
And it appears only a matter of time before the Real Sapphire academy product receives his maiden Super Eagles call-up.
5. Peter Ebimobowei: 21 goals, 21 games
A productive 2022 saw Peter Ebimobowei net 21 goals for Chittagong Abahani in the Bangladesh Premier League.
It is incredible, however, that after enjoying such a fantastic year, Ebimobowei is at present without a club.
4. Paul Onuachu: 21 goals in 27 games
A perennial goal machine, Onuachu found the back of the net 23 times during the 2021/22 season for Genk, seven of which he notched in the first half of this year.
After a slow start to this campaign, the Owerri-born striker has grabbed another 14 goals in 16 matches in Belgium. And he looks right on course to enjoy another spectacular season with the Smurfs.
3. Odion Ighalo: 24 goals, 35 games
Seemingly getting better with age, 33-year-old Odion Ighalo smashed in 24 goals in 2022, helping Al Hilal win the Saudi Professional League along the way. Ighalo only joined Al Hilal at the end of January from rivals Al Shabab.
The former Manchester United man has already registered five goals and an assist in nine games during the 2022-23 season. And he ends the year again as one of Nigeria’s most prolific goalscorers.
2. Victor Osimhen: 24 goals in 34 games
Victor Osimhen is Nigeria’s most valuable player in the world for a reason: the Napoli striker has added consistent goalscoring to his raw physical quality, his boundless hunger, and his on-pitch intelligence.
Already this season, Osimhen has one UEFA Champions League strike and nine Serie A goals that place him top of the league’s goalscorer chart. Add that to nine of Osimhen’s 14 league goals last season that came in the first quarter of 2022.
For the Super Eagles, Osimhen scored five goals in two matches, including the four he smashed in the historic 10-0 win over Sao Tome and Principe in June.
1. Kingsley Onuegbu: 27 goals in 32 games
Nigeria’s number one goal-getter of the year 2022 is 36-year-old striker Kingsley Onuegbu.
Onuegbu only joined Chinese club Qingdao Hainiu in April.
But the Kaduna-born forward wasted little time in becoming a nightmare for defenders in the Chinese League One.
Twenty-seven goals and eight assists in 32 matches suggest he will be an in-demand player for many clubs when his contract with Qingdao Hainiu expires in December.