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Last Updated: Monday, 3 December 2007, 18:03 GMT
Toffees' Nigerian trio

By Ben Wyatt
BBC Sport

Yakubu Aiyegbeni
Yakubu became Everton's record transfer, costing US$22m
Premier League side Everton have shown good form so far this season and are looking good to stay in contention for a European place.

And a driving force keeping the goals flying in at one end while blocking them at the other have been three players from Nigeria, Africa.

Nigeria's Aiyegbeni Yakubu became the club's record signing in August when the striker moved from Middlesbrough for US$22m.

Since his move the 'Yak' has hit the back of the net five times in the league, scoring his first goal for the club only ten minutes into his debut.

Victor Anichebe
Anichebe has reitierated his commitment to the Super Eagles

Not that he felt the pressure: "Being a striker there is always a demand on you to score goals and because of that we cost the most as players.

"But I'm born to score goals, and with Joseph Yobo helping me settle in here, things have gone well so far," Yakubu said.

The Toffees' strike force has been further strengthened with the emergance of Nigerian-born Victor Anichebe from the club's youth ranks.

The 19-year-old has contributed vital goals for the Liverpool-based side, furthering their progress in the Uefa Cup European competition.

"I'm a local lad, and Everton has always been well known for bringing through their own.

"They've introduced Wayne Rooney, James Vaughan, Tony Hibbert, Leon Osman and me.

"I've just taken the opportunity and I think the fans are taking to me," Anichebe added.

Nigeria and Everton's Joseph Yobo
Nigeria and Everton's Joseph Yobo has led his team from the back

And leading from the back is ever-present defender Joseph Yobo, the first signing made by manager David Moyes.

The Super Eagle centre-back played every minute of every league game for the Blues last season and is the first African to captain the side.

"The manager told me three years ago that one day he would make me captain, but I just got my head down and got on with my work.

"I was delighted when he offered me the armband though, the fans are great, the place is great and I am just happy to be here.

"The difference since Moyes has been at the club is that every year we sign one or two players of quality.

"Each term the team gets better and better and I'm glad to be a part of that," Yobo told BBC Sport.

The downside of course is that all three players could be called up for Nigeria's participation at next year's Cup of Nations in Ghana.

Until then the Super Eagle trio will aim to keep the Toffees flying high.



SEE ALSO
Everton's Yakubu axed by Nigeria
31 Oct 07 |  African
Yakubu: Boro need to "grow up"
29 Sep 07 |  African
Obi, Anichebe miss Australia tie
16 Nov 07 |  African
Yobo out for Super Eagles
18 Aug 07 |  African


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