Completesportsnigeria.com presents the five outstanding Nigerian players of 2016, compiled from your votes in our Complete Sports Player of the Month polls in the year under review.
The player with the most votes will be crowned the Complete Sports Player of the Year for 2016 to succeed Odion Ighalo, who won the prestigious award in 2015.
To vote, please go to the ‘Leave A Reply’ field below the profiles and write the name of your preferred player.
Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday, 12 January, 2017.
Profiles written by James Agberebi:
MIKEL JOHN OBI (CHELSEA)
Tipped to depart Chelsea in the January transfer window after being overlooked by Antonio Conte for selection, 2016 could still be described as a success for Mikel Obi especially with Nigeria national teams.
After a poor 2015/2016 English Premier League season with Chelsea, Mikel joined up with Nigeria U-23 Eagles for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games where he was also skipper.
Mikel was one of the U-23 Eagles’ outstanding players as he scored one goal (2-0 quarter-final win against Denmark) and provided four assists (one against Denmark and three in Nigeria’s 3-2 win against Honduras in the bronze medal match).
And with the Super Eagles, Mikel has been instrumental in their charge in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, leading the team to two wins against Zambia (2-1) and Algeria (3-1). He scored the Eagles’ second goal against Algeria.
Mikel also won Complete Sports Player of the Month award in February and August 2016.
VICTOR MOSES (CHELSEA)
Victor Moses could be described as one of the success stories of 2016 for Nigerian players.
Since breaking into Chelsea’s first team in the start of the current campaign in 2016 after going on loan to Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham, Moses has become one of Antonio Conte’s reliables.
After 18 EPL appearances, playing from an unfamiliar right-wing back position, Moses has scored three goals.
He bagged Man-of-the-Match awards in Chelsea wins against Tottenham Hotspur, Hull City and Middlesbrough.
Aside from his Man-of-the-Match awards, Moses also won the PFA Fans’ EPL Player of the Month award for November, beating the likes of Sergio Aguero and Gylfi Sigurdsson.
And for the national team, Moses grabbed a brace in the Super Eagles 3-1 win against Algeria in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Moses rounded off 2016 on a high by winning Complete Sports Player of the Month back-to-back in October and November.
ALEX IWOBI (ARSENAL)
The year 2016 has been a remarkable year for 20-year-old Alex Iwobi and it is evident the exciting youngster has come to stay.
Ever since Iwobi made his first start for Arsenal against Barcelona in March in the second round of the UEFA Champions League, he has not looked back as he has continued to grow from strength to strength.
After making 28 appearances for Arsenal in 2016 in the English Premier League, Iwobi has scored four goals.
He was voted Man-of-the-Match in Arsenal’s 3-0 win against Chelsea in September and was also nominated for the 2016 Golden Boy award for the best Under-23 players in Europe.
In the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Iwobi got Nigeria off to the best of starts as he scored in the Super Eagles 2-1 away win against Zambia in Ndola.
And in March and September 2016, Iwobi was voted Complete Sports Player of the Month by our readers.
KELECHI IHEANACHO (MANCHESTER CITY)
It has surely been an eventful 2016 for Kelechi Iheanacho.
Among Iheanacho’s standout performances in 2016 included his first career hat-trick in January against Aston Villa in the fourth round of the FA Cup, also setting up City’s fourth goal, scored by Raheem Sterling.
In February, he was an unused substitute for Manchester City who defeated Liverpool on penalties in the final of the League Cup.
In April Iheanacho bagged a brace in a 4-0 win against Stoke and also won the Man-of-the-Match award.
And to cap a wonderful 2016, Iwobi was nominated for the 2016 Golden Boy award and has the best minutes-per-goal ratio of any striker in Premier League history.
For the Super Eagles, he netted a stunning goal in a 1-0 win against Tanzania in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier and also scored in the Eagles 2-1 away win against Zambia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.
For the Complete Sports Player of the Month award, Iheanacho was voted as the best in February and April for his outstanding displays in 2016.
CHISOM EGBUCHULAM (ENUGU RANGERS)
Relatively unknown at the start of the year, 2016 will go down as one of the memorable years for Chisom Egbuchulam.
The striker was part of the history-making Enugu Rangers side who were crowned Nigeria Professional Football League champions for the first time in over 30 years.
Egbuchulam contributed immensely in the feat as he scored 18 league goals to help Rangers end their long wait for the title.
His 18 league goals earned him the highest goal scorer award in the Nigerian Premier League last season and he was named Footballer of the Year at the Nigerian Sports Awards.
Egbuchulam’s impressive performance for Rangers did not go unnoticed as he was invited to the Super Eagles camp ahead of their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Zambia in Ndola.
Egbuchulam alongside Godwin Obaje were called up as replacements for Victor Moses and Isaac Success.