Nigerian Footballers Abroad

Super Eagles midfielder Joe Aribo back in Premier League after Southampton defeats Leeds United in playoff final

Emotions ran high at Wembley as Joe Aribo’s Southampton crushed Leeds United’s hopes of an immediate return to the Premier League, thanks to a decisive goal from Adam Armstrong. The 1-0 win secures Southampton’s place in the English top-flight next season, reuniting Aribo with his fellow Super Eagles teammates, Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho who achieved promotion with Leicester City.

In a dramatic Championship playoff final, Southampton edged out Leeds United, with Armstrong’s clinical finish in the 24th minute, set up by Will Smallbone’s exquisite through ball, making the difference.

Aribo, who played the entire match, showcased his skills and composure throughout the game, completing 84% of his passes, creating one chance, and making one key pass. His performance also included the most dribbles in the game, demonstrating his influence on the field.

Southampton’s victory means the club will join Leicester City and Ipswich Town, who secured automatic promotion, in the Premier League for the 2024/25 season.

Leeds United, managed by Daniel Farke, must now prepare for another challenging season in the Championship after falling just short in the final.

For Joe Aribo, the return to the Premier League marks a significant achievement after experiencing relegation with Southampton last season.

His performance in the final will likely catch the attention of new Super Eagles manager Finidi George, from whom Aribo was initially overlooked for World Cup qualification games against South Africa and Benin Republic in June.

The Nigerian international, now 27, is set to compete at the highest level once again, aiming to inspire his club alongside Ndidi and Iheanacho

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