Las Palmas of Spain new arrival, Oghenekaro Etebo on Monday became the 12th youngest Nigerian player to debut in La Liga, when he lined out against Malaga at Estadio de Gran Canaria.
Etebo, who is on loan from CD Feirense of Portugal at Las Palmas, enacted the feat aged 22 years, two months and 27 days, in a match that also featured Nigeria’s youngest ever player to feature in the Spanish top-flight, Isaac Success.
Etebo, though ranks way below Success, who was 18 years, seven months and 24 days old when he made his maiden appearance in La Liga against Elche on August 31, 2014.
The second youngest Nigerian player to play in the top division in Spain is ex-Spain youth-team midfielder, Sunday Stephen.
The dark-skinned player, fondly called ‘Sunny,’ gained that distinction when he came off the bench in the 68th minute of Valencia’s 3-0 loss to Villarreal, aged 18 years 11 months and 9 days.
Goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, Uche Agbo and Gbenga Okunowo complete the list of Nigeria’s top five youngest debutants in La Liga history.
Uzoho got his debut for Deportivo de La Coruña versus Eibar last year, aged 18 years 11 months 17 days, while Agbo lined out for Granada against Levante in 2015 at 19 years 2 months and 19 days, while Okunowo was 19 years 6 months and 1 day when he debuted for Barcelona against Racing Santander in 1998.
In sixth spot is Nduka Ugbade (CD Castellón v Sevilla 1989 – 20 years 3 months and 4 days), seventh is Ramon Azeez (Almeria v Elche 2013- 20 years 8 months and 18 days), eighth Festus Agu (SD Compostela v Celta Vigo 1996 – 20 years 9 months and 22 days), ninth Nosa Igiebor (Betis v Real Valladolid CF 2012 – 21 years 10 months and 8 days), and tenth Christopher Kanu (Deportivo Alavés v Espanyol 2001 – 21 years 11 months and 7 days).
Positions 11 to 1 have, in descending order: Odion Ighalo – Granada v Betis 2011- 22 years 2 months and 11 days, Oghenekaro Etebo – Las Palmas v Malaga 2018 – 22 years 2 months and 27 days, Victor Obinna Nsofor – Malaga v Deportivo de La Coruña 2009 – 22 years 5 months and 19 days, Mutiu Adepoju – Racing Santander v Rayo Vallecano 1993 – 22 years 8 months and 14 days, Ikechukwu Uche – Recreativo Huelva v Getafe 2006 – 22 years 9 months and 17 days.