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Part D – Nigeria Professional Football League 2021/22 season Players to watch (photos)
Part D – Nigeria Professional Football League 2021/22 season Players to watch (photos)

With the Nigeria Professional Football League 2021/22 season full of excitement and anticipation, is set to kickoff, it might be difficult for us to know where we should focus our attention on.

Read: Part A – Nigeria Professional Football League 2021/22 season Players to watch

League champions Akwa United will be looking to retain their place at the top of the pile while Kano Pillars and others look to narrow the gap in a competitive season. Just like many other years in the NPFL, lots of promising talents always emerge and hope to prove their worth for a whole host of reasons.

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Read: Part C – Nigeria Professional Football League 2021/22 season Players to watch

Battling for CAF Champions League, Confederations Cup and staying in the Nigeria top flight league, shows that there are lots of incentives for all teams – not forgetting the highly anticipated return of fans back to stadiums which will add more fuel to the fire.

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1. Christian Molokwu – MFM FC – Wing-back

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MFM FC utility star, Christian Molokwu excelled brilliantly for his ex club, FC Ifeanyi Ubah during the first quarter of last season where he netted four times and assisted once before being sidelined due to a knock in the second quarter of the season.

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Following his return back to action, Molokwu appeared to have lost his goalscoring boots as the goals were no longer coming, but came really close to breaking the deadluck against Rivers United when his strike went straight to the crossbar in the second half.

He would then go on to add three assists to his name, increasing his goal involvement last term to seven (four goals and three assists), a feat which made him finish the campaign as the highest scoring fullback in the 2020/2021 Nigeria Professional Football League season.

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Due to his work-rate and stamina, Molokwu is known to be capable of aiding his team both offensively and defensively, and has been utilized both as a full-back and as an attacking wing-back or centre-forward.

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He is gifted with outstanding physical attributes, athleticism and excellent technical skills, as well as good vision, crossing ability and a powerful shot, which makes him a dangerous attacking threat down the right flank when he’s in his best.

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He will no doubt be a joy to watch at MFM FC and will be hoping to make his home debut against new boys Remo Stars in a Western derby on December 17.

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2. Eric Oguocha – Plateau United – Wing-back

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Regarded as one of the most sort after full-backs currently in the Nigeria topflight league, Plateau United newboy, Eric Oguocha is a dynamic, hard-working, offensive-minded, and energetic right-sided wing-back who is mostly known for his great pace, stamina, tactical intelligence, distribution, and technical skills, as well as his ability to make overlapping attacking runs down the right flank and provide accurate crosses to teammates in the area.

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To further add to his footballing ability, Oguocha is also known for his discipline, leadership and his characteristically cheerful demeanour.

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Although the ex FC Ifeanyi Ubah man usually played as an attacking right-back, he is also capable of fielding as a centre back, due to his defensive skills, or in more advanced positions, and was trusted as a centre-back by manager, Uche Okagbue during some of their home matches last season.

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Notably, he scored an amazing winner for FC Ifeanyi Ubah during their last home game last season against Warri Wolves and ended the season with one goal and five assists in 28 games.

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Also, his goal against Warri Wolves was the last goal of the 2020/2021 campaign.

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3. Tiza Iorwuese – Lobi Stars – Striker

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Kwara United new signing, Tiza Iorwuese is a quick, dynamic, and technically gifted forward, with good vision, composure, and an eye for goal.

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He is known for his offensive movements and ability in the air, and is capable of finishing well with his head as well as both feet, despite being naturally right-footed. Tiza is also an accurate penalty taker.

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Speaking about his elegant yet efficient playing style, and his consistent, prolific goalscoring prowess that saw him end last season with ten goal contributions (6 goals and 4 assists) Tiza’s profession is purely football and his speciality is netting goals.

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The former Lobi Stars talisman is one of the most impressive strikers in Nigeria Professional Football League today. He possess the same physical attributes as some of his fellow strikers, and bang goals with ease and has always shines against top teams.

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Tiza is a clear-cut goal poarcher forward, a lethal finisher and a fox in the penalty area. He will hope to continue with his impressive form for the Harmony Boys and will be an integral asset for Abdullahi Biffo as they prepare for a rollercoaster season.

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4. Saidu Adamu – Rangers Football Club – Midfielder

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A hard-working and versatile player, Rangers International new signing, Saidu Adamu, can cover all midfield positions, and has been used as an attacking midfielder, as a central midfielder, and as a deep-lying playmaker.

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Although he is not particularly quick, Saidu is a dynamic and energetic player that is effective at making attacking runs and also one who possesses good physical attributes; moreover, he is known for his defensive contribution, and his willingness to press opposing players.

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He is known for being neat and tidy in possession, with the ability to pass the ball accurately out wide in order to stretch play or create chances for teammates. Saidu is notable for his creativity and technical skills: his double step is one of the most popular in the the Nigeria topflight league; he is also an accurate and powerful striker of the ball from distance with either foot, despite being naturally right-footed, as well as being a threat from set-pieces, with his left as well as his “stronger” right foot, uniquely.

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Out of 31 games he featured last season for FC Ifeanyi Ubah, Saidu netted twice in their 2-2 draw against Enyimba Football Club and further provided three assists to his name.

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5. Ekene Awazie – Enyimba Football Club – Attacker

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During his time at FC Ifeanyi Ubah, Enyimba Football Club new signing, Ekene Awazie was primarily used as a supporting striker or as a playmaking attacking midfielder, due to his ability to create chances and provide assists for teammates; he was also deployed as a winger or even as a striker on occasion.

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A creative, technically gifted, unpredictable, and selfless right-footed dazzler, Awazie is renowned for his ball control, his skilful dribbling ability, vision, and passing ability with either foot, as well as his tactical intelligence, ability to read the game and eye for goal.

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Although he is not physically imposing, his stature gives him good balance and allows him to be extremely quick and agile, which, along with his acceleration, speed, and ball skills, enables him to change direction with the ball very quickly in tight spaces, and allowed him to beat defenders with feints in one vs one situations.

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Awazie is also a penalty kick and set piece specialist, who is particularly renowned for his accuracy at bending direct free-kicks.

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In addition to his playing ability, Ekene Awazie also stood out for his tenacity and work rate throughout his stay at FC Ifeanyi Ubah as well as his professionalism and fair–play.

He ended last campaign at FC Ifeanyi Ubah as their best player with eight goals, six assists, nine Man of the Match awards, and player who created the highest chances at the club in 37 games.

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