2015 Nigeria Under-17 squad, where are some of them now?

While the Super Eagles of Nigeria haven’t covered themselves in glory at the senior world cup, the Under-17 cadre is a competition that has given us a lot of joy.

Nigeria are the record winners of the competition with five titles. The 2015 set gave the country a lot of pleasure with the outstanding talent and style of football under Emmanuel Amuneke.

Some of these players have established themselves as mainstays in their European teams, while some have remained in the doldrums.

At Soccernet today, we take a look at some of these players.

Victor Osimhen

Arguably the biggest achiever of the entire lot, Osimhen emerged as the best player at the tournament. Osimhen was the darling of many top teams in Europe after his impressive performances for the Eaglets.

Osimhen moved to Wolfsburg in 2016, where he had a difficult start to life. After two difficult years, he then moved to Charleroi on loan in 2018.

After an impressive loan spell at the Belgian club, which saw the Nigerian bang in 12 goals in 25 league appearances, they decided to snap him up for €3.5m in July 2019.

However, the Belgian club sold him immediately to Lille OSC for €20m in 2019. Osimhen was an instant hit at Lille.

The potent forward scored a brace on his debut. He finished the season with 18 goals in all competitions which saw him finish as the club’s highest goalscorer.

In September 2020, the former CAF youth player of the year moved to Italian giants Napoli for a club-record fee and an African record fee of €81.3m on a five-year deal.

The 22-year-old struggled with injuries at the beginning of last season, but he still managed ten goals in 24 Serie A appearances.

Samuel Chukwueze

The Europa League winner with Villareal scored three goals at the Under-17 world cup. He made his way to the Villareal Academy in 2017.

Because of his ability on the ball, it took him just a year to make his debut for the Yellow Submarines. Chukwueze has grown in leaps since his move to Spain.

Since his debut in 2018, the tricky winger has scored 17 goals in all competitions. He’s become a thorn in the flesh of La Liga defenders. He is currently valued at €20m according to transfermarkt.

John Lazarus

The 23-year-old is currently without a club. Unlike some of his teammates, he never had the opportunity to move to Europe. He once played for El Kanemi and Lobi stars.

Kelechi Nwakali

The attacking midfielder joined Arsenal in 2016,  but after an unsuccessful three years during which he failed to kick a ball in any competitive match for the gunners, he had to leave the Emirates.

During his three years at Arsenal, he went on several loan deals; at VVV Venlo, Maastricht and Porto B.

In July 2019, Nwakali joined Huesca on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee. It took him about two months into the season before he got his debut. He featured in only five games in the 2019/2020 season.

Nwakali’s persistent lack of game time the following season made him move on loan to Alcorćon in the Spanish second division.

He was one of the outstanding players in what was a bad season for Alcorćon, scoring four goals in 18 appearances.

The 23-year-old has now returned to Huesca.

Kingsley Micheal

The central midfielder joined Serie A side Bologna, in 2017 but has struggled to cement a place in the first team.

Micheal has been on loan at various Italian sides like Perugia Cremonense and Reggina. His current contract does not expire until June 2024.

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