15 Eagles Who Should Switch To New Clubs In Summer Transfer Window
The 2020 summer transfer window will kick off in a few months from now and some Nigerian players should consider getting career lifeline elsewqhere, having become surplus to requirements at their respective clubs. Complete Sports reporter, OLUYEMI OGUNSEYIN takes a look at twelve Nigeria’s Super Eagles’ players who should make a switch during the summer window in order revitalise their career.
John Obi Mikel (Unattached)
Former Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi is for the second summer transfer window in a row looking for a new club after his contract at former club, Trabzonspor was mutually terminated.
The former Chelsea midfield enforcer is a target for Botafogo but the Brazilian side could face a serious battle for his signature from another American side, Monterrey and Tigres of Mexico.
Mikel has been without a club since he left Trabzonspor in March. The 33-year-old left the club after he criticized the decision to allow the Super Lig to continue amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Since he left in March, the former Nigerian international has been linked with several clubs including a move back to England. Brazilian side, Botafogo were reportedly close to signing the Nigerian.
But a deal could not be agreed because of the coronavirus outbreak. Latest reports claim two American clubs have now joined the Brazilian side in the battle for Mikel’s signature.
However, it remains to be seen whether a move to North America is something that will interest Mikel considering he once revealed he would love to stay close to his family in London.
Jamilu Collins (SC Paderborn, Germany)
Super Eagles left full-back, Jamilu Collins will have a justified reason to make a departure from SC Paderborn this summer should the German minnows are relegated from the Bundesliga.
Paderborn are on the brink of relegation from the German top-flight with the club rooted to the bottom of the Bundesliga table and there are only four more matches before the season ends.
Collins is sought after in the transfer market. The defender who has a contract with Paderborn until 2021 is on the radar of English clubs such as Fulham, Norwich City and Newcastle United.
A possible move to England could fail as he would have had to complete a quota of 75 percent of the compulsory national games in his home country in the past two years for a work permit in the UK.
The 25-year-old has played ten competitive games for Nigeria and is therefore just under the specified quota. This would obstruct his dream destination, England where he hopes to play for Arsenal.
In March, Hertha BSC, Schalke 04 and Mainz 05 were reportedly interested in Collins who has played 26 Bundesliga games for Paderborn, scoring one goal and making two assists.
Isaac Success (Watford, England)
Former Nigerian youth international, Isaac Success is another player who should be seriously thinking of moving to another club where game time is guaranteed so as to save his football career which has stalled.
This is simply because the attacker’s situation at Watford appears to be deteriorating with lack of playing time and that has been the case under three managers so far this season.
Under three managers at Vicarage Road so far during the 2019–20 season, Javi Gracia, previous boss, Quique Sanchez Flores and incumbent, Nigel Pearson, Success has failed to get a look-in.
It is disheartening that the 24-year-old who won the FIFA Under-17 World Cup with the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria in 2013 has played only 54 EPL matches with just 11 starts since joining the Hornets in 2016, scoring twice and making two other assists.
The fringe Super Eagles striker has so far made a hugely disappointing five substitute appearances in the English elite division this season without even a goal or assist to his name.
Success will be all out to salvage his English Premier League (EPL) career which has been anything but successful when the 2019/20 season restarts on Wednesday, 17 June.
The Nigerian forward has so far flattered to deceive since joining Watford back during the summer transfer window of 2016, playing a few number of matches and failing to impress.
Tom Dele-Bashiru (Watford, England)
The case of Nigerian forward, Tom Dele-Bashiru can be likened to that of one jumping from frying-pan to fire with the youngster having left former club, Manchester City due to lack of game time.
When the Nigerian Under-20 [Flying Eagles] star made the switch to Vicarage Road during the last summer transfer window, he would have expected to at least get playing time at a struggling club like Watford.
But the reverse appears to be the case at this very point in time with Dele-Bashiru having only enjoyed game time in the Carabao Cup so far during the 2019/20 campaign.
If the 20-year-old really wants to achieve his potential in the game of football, then, he has to make a decision and a quick one at that to leave the Hornets when the summer window opens.
Kelechi Nwakali (SD Huesca, Spain)
It appears now is the time for Kelechi Nwakali to make an exit from Spanish club, SD Huesca if the midfielder truly has any plan of rejuvenating his stuttering football career which promised a lot few years back.
Nwakali burst into limelight after captaining Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets team that paraded the likes of Victor Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze to win the 2015 Under-17 World Cup in Chile.
His inspiring displays earned him the tournament’s Golden Ball ahead of Lille’s Osimhen and Mali’s Aly Malle. Nwakali’s stock rose after joining Arsenal on a five-year deal from Nigeria’s Diamond Football Academy.
And after failed loan moves to Dutch clubs, MVV Maastricht, VVV Venlo and Porto B of Portugal, the youngster was shipped out of the Emirates Stadium to Huesca in the winter transfer window in January.
Before football went into a break as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic breakout, Nwakali did not make as much as a single appearance for the Spanish Segunda side.
There is nothing to doubt about Nwakali’s talent. There are some exquisite football qualities that the 22-year-old possesses and among them are dribbling skills and the ability to make assists.
Tyronne Ebuehi (Benfica B, Portugal)
It has been a really turbulent time for Tyronne Ebuehi at Benfica since the defender made the switch to the Portuguese Primeira Liga side in the summer transfer window of the year 2018.
Ebuehi who made his international debut for the Super Eagles of Nigeria in 2017 before going on to play at the 2018 World Cup in Russia has even been demoted to the second team of Benfica.
Following the World Cup, the Dutch-born right full-back moved from Ado Den Haag of Holland to Benfica. It was indeed a big move as he was in line to play UEFA Champions League football. However, Ebuehi did not play for Benfica last season as a knee injury ruled him out. Despite his return this season, he has played just six league matches, lasting 510 minutes.
With Ebuehi struggling to force his way into Benfica chief coach, Bruno Lage’s plans, the 24-year-old should consider leaving for a new club this summer if he wants to earn a national team recall.
Chidiebere Nwakali (Unattached)
The older of the Nwakali brothers, Chidiebere, an U-17 World Cup winner with the Golden Eaglets in 2013 is currently unattached but treating different offers for him as he aims to rekindle his stuttering football career.
Chidiebere has also like his younger brother, Kelechi endured a stop-start career. He was first signed by Manchester City back in 2015 but was released after a number of disappointing loan spells in Spain and Scandinavia.
The 23-year-oldi’s contract at Swedish club-side, Kalmar was terminated earlier in January this year as a result of the midfielder returning late from Christmas break. His one year stay ?with the club ended on a sour note.
Nwakali Sr. was sacked for missing pre-season training after a spat with Kalmar over the payment for his flight ticket to return to the club after visiting Nigeria for the Christmas break.
He returned to Sweden weeks after the deadline had expired but Kalmar announced via their sporting director, Jorgen Petersson that they had terminated the remainder of the 5-year deal he signed last year summer.
Reports surfaced last week that a Faroe Island-based club, Ki Klaksvik FC confirmed his signature and will announce sealing of the deal in two weeks but the ex-Aberdeen of Scotland midfielder has denied the story.
Taiwo Awoniyi (Mainz 05, Germany)
Former Nigerian youth international, Taiwo Awoniyi should be thinking of moving to another club where game time is guaranteed so as to save his football career which is stalling.
Awoniyi is spending the whole of the 2019-20 season on loan at FSV Mainz 05 after sealing a temporary switch to the Bundesliga team from parent club, Liverpool in August 2019.
The striker who only started to see regular game time since the season resumed last month has, however, netted once after making eleven appearances in the German Bundesliga for Mainz.
Awoniyi is another player who showed so much potential at U-17 level but currently struggling. The 22-year-old was also part of the Golden Eaglets squad that won the U-17 World Cup in 2013.
Liverpool signed him in 2015, however, he could not play for the Reds and was sent out on loan. Awoniyi has since had spells at FSV Frankfurt, NEC Nijmegen, Royal Mouscron, KAA Gent and currently at Mainz.
However, his loan stints at these clubs have not really helped his football development and the forward will need a permanent move away from Liverpool this summer to get his groove back like Stella.
Maduka Okoye (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany)
German-born Nigerian goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye needs to find himself a club where he will be assured of regular playing time if he habours any hope of breaking into the Super Eagles starting XI squad.
Okoye who had been promoted to the senior team of Fortuna Dusseldorf before the coronavirus pandemic-enforced break has not been dressed for any of his club’s Bundesliga matches in recent times.
The 20-year-old made 13 German Regionalliga West appearances for Fortuna third-tier team during the 2019/20 season from which he has been able to keep only one clean-sheet while conceding 26 goals.
Okoye was last in goal in a German Regionalliga West encounter which saw Fortuna play out a 2-2 draw with Bonner SC at the Sportpark Nord earlier this year, precisely on 26 January, 2020.
He has hinted that he could join a Dutch Eredivisie side on loan in a bid to gain first team experience. Okoye who will be a free agent this summer is reportedly in talks with Dutch club, Sparta Rotterdam.
Anderson Esiti (PAOK FC, Greece)
Anderson Esiti was once considered as Leicester City midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi’s direct rival in the Super Eagles of Nigeria following his impressive performances at Gent of Belgium.
But how have times changed as Ndidi has gone ahead to become the mainstay of Leicester’s midfield, going on to churn out wonderful performances while Esiti is really struggling.
The 24-year-old started his European journey in Portugal but only began to shine when he joined Gent, a move supposed to be the step towards securing a deal at one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
But three years down the line, Esiti is currently struggling at PAOK Salonika. He has played only 12 league games while amassing just 1,013 minutes in all competitions this season.
Although the enterprising and promising midfielder is in his first season, a move away from Greece back to a more respectable league could put Esiti in the spotlight again.
Oghenekaro Etebo (Getafe, Spain)
Oghenekaro Etebo who made his second transfer in the month of January could finally seal a permanent move from Skybet Championship side, Stoke City to Getafe where he is currently on loan.
After suffering a botched summer transfer to Udinese in 2014, the former Warri Wolves player secured a move to Portuguese second division side, Fairense in January 2016.
And now, the 24-year-old who since joining the Azulones on loan in January and made seven appearances, six in the league and one in the Copa del Rey without scoring or assisting could make another move.
Chidozie Awaziem (Leganes, Spain)
Chidozie Awaziem who currently plays on loan at CD Leganes from parent club, FC Porto of Portugal could actually join the Spanish La Liga side on a permanent deal in the summer transfer window.
However, that decision could depend largely on whether Leganes will eventually escape relegation from the Spanish La Liga Santander where they are currently struggling on the standings.
So far during the 2019/20 season, Awaziem has made 16 starts in 18 Spanish La Liga games in the colours of the Cucumber Growers with four clean-sheets to show for his effort.
The defender recently made a disclosure that he has dreams of playing for Spanish giants, Real Madrid while he models his game like that of Los Blancos skipper, Sergio Ramos.
Ola Aina (Torino, Italy)
Ever since making a departure from Chelsea in the summer transfer window of 2018, Ola Aina has grown from leaps to bounds as the versatile defensive player has been a regular member of Torino’s starting eleven as he always churns out wonderful performances.
Aina who has been linked with a return to the English Premier League has so far made only 15 starts from 20 appearances in the Italian top-flight, making just one assist while picking up six yellow cards.
Torino paid €9.8 million to sign the 23-year-old permanently from Chelsea last summer but he is now rated at €8 million, making him the most valuable Nigerian defender, according to Transfermarkt.
At €8 million, Aina wouldn’t be too expensive for any club to purchase as he is still relatively young. The future of the Nigerian at Torino is also hanging in the balance, according to reports.
Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain)
Kenneth Omeruo is yet another Nigerian player who could have a change of club in the summer transfer window and this depends on whether Leganes can survive relegation from the La Liga Santander.
The African Cup of Nations winner, having achieved that feat with the Super Eagles back in South Africa in 2013 would certainly not love to play in the lower division of Spanish football.
And the former Chelsea defender who has been consistent ever since joining Leganes in 2018 will surely not be sure of suitors who would love to make use of his invaluable experience.
So far during the 2019/20 season, Omeruo has started all of his 18 La Liga games in the colours of the Cucumber Growers with one goal and five yellow cards in his record.
Francis Uzoho (Omonia Nicosia, Cyprus)
Super Eagles goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho recently expressed hope of playing for a bigger club in Europe as he aims to become one of the greatest shot-stoppers to ever come out of Africa.
The Nigerian international who is currently on loan to Cypriot side, Omonia Nicosia from Spanish Segunda club, Deportivo de La Coruna believes a move to a top team will help him achieve his dream.
And by saying that, Uzoho could probably be ready to make a move this summer. The three-time African champions’ first-choice goalkeeper is on his way to full recovery from a long-term injury.
The 21-year-old picked up a severe knee injury back in October of last year during Nigeria’s international friendly affair with five-time world champions, Brazil.
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