It turned out to be an ugly weekend for several Nigerian players across Europe’s top leagues, as highly-celebrated Samuel Chukwueze got a starting role on Villarreal’s bench in the Spanish La Liga, while Isaac Success and Tom Dele-Bashiru were not dressed buy Watford, with same fate befalling Leon Aderemi Balogun at Brighton & Hove Albion.
Megasportsarena.com reports that, while Chukwueze, who scored the previous weekend, was made to get off Villarreal’s bench in the second half of the fixture away to Valencia, much to the consternation of pundits, Balogun was not in Brighton’s squad that lost 2-1 away to table-topping Liverpool, while action at St Mary’s Stadium saw Success and Dele-Bashiru completely absent from Watford’s roster away to Southampton.
Nigerian-born midfielder, Dele Alli scored twice for Tottenham Hotspur and Moussa Sissoko added one, before Harry Wilson’s late double threatened a comeback for Bournemouth, only for the visitors to lose 3-2.
While Dominic Solanke started and went the distance for The Cherries, Jordon Ibe was missing from the match day squad and Phillip Chinedu Billing was out due to suspension, as their team fell away to Jose Mourinho’s side in London.
In Spain, although Chukwueze eventually went on for The Yellow Submarine in the 63rd minute as replacement for Toko Ekambi away to Valencia at Estadio de Mestalla, he could not save his side from a 2-1 loss.
Despite spending only 27 minutes, Chukwueze had six dribbles, more than any other Villarreal player, with three shots and one key pass to boot, much to the amazement of Spanish football journalist, Toni Padilla , who expressed dismay over the Super Eagles’ rookies’ bench role.
Padilla said on La Liga TV: ”Samuel Chukwueze is a really fast player and he broke the defence of Valencia. I was surprised he didn’t start because he’s a player that will play from the first minute. We have one of the fastest players in La Liga, bring him on and let him play.”