All Nigeria Soccer Special: Nigeria's Top 50 Youngsters - 40 to 31
Published: October 28, 2012
All Nigeria Soccer Special: Nigeria's Top 50 Youngsters - 40 to 31Nigeria's Top 50 Youngsters

40) Akeem Latifu (IL Hødd, Norway)
Age: 22
Market Value: €500,000
Comments: He is widely regarded as one of the most promising right backs in Norway's second - tier. His club Hødd are through to next month's Norwegian Cup final, thanks to his tenacity at the back and ability to launch attacks from his right back position. With Akeem's eye catching displays and consistent performance in the last two seasons, a move away from Ulsteinvik is being mooted, with several clubs in the Tippeligaen and Turkey said to be monitoring his progress. National Team gaffer Stephen Keshi has been tinkering his team selection at right full back. The former youth international could get a look-in as he possesses all the attributes of a national team material.

39) Uche Ikpeazu (Reading FC, England)
Age: 17
Market Value: €200,000
Comments: Deeply religious player who has been tipped for great things in future. An influential player of the Reading Under 18 squad. The burly forward is the top scorer for Reading with 11 goals in 9 games, including Saturday's strike against West Brom. Has drawn comparisons with former Everton attacker Yakubu Aiyegbeni due to his physique and playing style. It is only a matter of time before he is offered a professional contract by The Royals. Eligible to play for Nigeria and England, the highly rated teenager has not decided the national team to play for. And should he pledge his future to Nigeria, he is expected to be one of the stars of next year's Fifa Under 20 World Cup, billed to be hosted by Turkey.

38) Chikeluba Ofoedu (1461 Trabzon, Turkey)
Age: 19
Market Value: €500,000
Comments: Hailed as the 'New Obafemi Martins'. Rosenborg's failure to offer him a contract earlier in the year despite impressing the hierarchy during trials remains a strange decision, which turned out to favor Turkish club 1461 Trabzon. Already very popular with the club supporters. There is banter that at the conclusion of his contract with 1461 Trabzon in June 2013, he would be sent to Super League club Trabzonspor who have a stake in 1461 Trabzon.

37) Raheem Lawal (Adana Demirspor, Turkey)
Age : 22
Market Value: €500,000
Comments: Lawal was the subject of interest from Real Betis and Tottenham Hotspur in the summer transfer market. This portal can confirm that Spanish club Betis were willing to offer him annual wages of €300,000 to sign the dotted lines. But following his documented disciplinary problems with Atlético Baleares, the transfer failed to materialize. Lawal is a modern day midfielder, can be used offensively and defensively. Perhaps, that's why there is a lingering debate on the right sobriquet for him. Some pundits refer to him as the 'New Jay Jay Okocha', while he is being hailed as the 'New Sunday Oliseh' by the conservatives. Must improve on his lifestyle off the pitch, known to be fun loving and a night club freak. And if he does that, then, we definitely have a jewel in our hands.

36) Anthony Ujah(Cologne FC, on loan from Mainz 05)
Age: 22
Market Value: €1,500,000
Comments: Many would wonder why Anthony Ujah is still on this list after failing to make the grade at Bundesliga club Mainz. We have given him the benefit of doubt, and it is no surprise that his market value and his rankings from last year's edition where he was rated in the top 20 has diminished. Ujah is a typical Nigerian forward, has all-round attacking potentials and very deadly in the penalty box. If he continues his brilliant form for Cologne, his dream of appearing for the Super Eagles in Brazil 2014 won't be an illusion.

35) Kenneth Omeruo (ADO Den Haag, Holland on loan from Chelsea, England)
Age: 19
Market Value: €1,200,000
Comments: Versatile player who can play as central defender, full back or defensive midfielder. He is being hailed as the best talent in Nigeria presently, and could make his international debut against Venezuela next month. Whatever the outcome of his performance - good or bad - in the Miami game, it is expected that Keshi will include him in his 2013 African Cup of Nations roster as his 'Theo Walcott selection'. Primarily a Chelsea player, the Nigeria youth - teamer was sent on loan to ADO Den Haag to garner first-team experience. So far, he has impressed in Holland, having started all the games in the Dutch championship this season. It is only a matter of time before the rightful owners ask for their property.

34) Bright Osagie Edomwonyi (Red Bull Salzburg, Austria)
Age: 18
Market Value: €500,000
Comments: Inching closer and closer to a first team debut with the Austrian giants. Before joining Red Bull Salzburg on a four - year contract, he had no shortage of admirers. Racing Genk, Hoffenheim and Ajax Amsterdam were reported jostling for the signature of the forward. But he chose Red Bull to further his development. The teenager is lightning-quick, technically accomplished and an attacking all-rounder. He is seen as one of the future stars of Nigerian football, and could be on the plane to Turkey next year if the Flying Eagles qualify for the Fifa Under 20s.

33) Daniel Adejo (Reggina, Italy)
Age: 23
Market Value: €2,000,000
Comments: Daniel Adejo is the country's best right back at the moment but has failed to get the attention of the National Team handlers. He is being hailed as the 'New Chidi Odiah'. With his imperious displays for Reggina in the physically demanding Serie B, transfer market specialists are tipping him to step up a division in the January transfer window. Udinese, Catania, Genoa, Sampdoria and Palermo have courted Adejo in the past. The Egypt 2009 Under 20 World Cup star has all the qualities, including technique and physical presence, to be a world class player.

32) John Ugochukwu Ogu (Académica de Coimbra, Portugal)
Age: 24
Market Value: €1,500,000
Comments: Another exciting youngster from the stable of famous youth academy, Flying Sports Lagos. Marshall Mbre, former Genoa striker, now director of the academy, has an eye to spot talents. Ogu is a physically imposing defensive midfielder who makes his presence on the pitch noticed.  Add to that, he can also be converted to an attacking midfielder, and was known to be deployed as a support striker during his short stint with União Desportiva de Leiria. He has cited Chelsea star John Obi Mikel as his role model. An invitation to play in a green and white jersey is long overdue, deserves a call -up post Nations Cup.

31) Rilwan Hassan (FC Midtjylland, Denmark)
Age: 21
Market Value: €2,500,000
Comments: Nurtured at FC Ebedei, Rilwan has grown by leaps and bounds since joining Danish Super Liga side FCM in the 2009 - 2010 season. With the lack of natural wingers in the National Teams, his snub by the selectors remains a major talking point in Denmark, where he is rated one of the most exciting prospects in the league. Recently voted Young Player of the Year at FCM, his impressive displays could mean the time spent in Scandinavia is over. Clubs in Germany, Switzerland, Spain and England are understood to be monitoring his progress and could bid for him as early as the winter transfer market.



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