A young midfielder with a bright future, Ogenyi Onazi first caught the eye at the FIFA U-17 World Cup finals in 2009, where he helped Nigeria reach the final. Still just 20-years-old, Onazi plays with great quickness and skill but has proved to be no soft touch despite his smaller size – making him capable of playing in either the defensive or attacking third.
He joined Lazio in 2011 and impressed to such an extent that he was almost an ever-present this season, featuring regularly in the Italian club’s run to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League. He also stood out during Nigeria’s CAF Africa Cup of Nations triumph, playing a versatile role alongside Jon Obi Mikel that allowed the Super Eagles’ ample attacking thrust to keep moving forward.
However, he has also proved with Lazio that he is capable of scoring from long-range and contributing with defence-splitting passes. Although he’s definitely one to watch for the future – he has been linked with ever larger clubs in England’s Premier League – Onazi could already be an integral player for coach Stephen Keshi at the FIFA Confederations Cup.