5 Relegation-Haunted Eagles At Club Football

June 11, 2020
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Complete Sports’ SULAIMON ALAO takes a look at five Nigeria’s Super Eagles’ players who are fighting to avoid the drop with their respective clubs in three of Europe’s top five leagues.

The football season has restarted in Germany and the LaLiga will stage a return today while the Premier League is slated to restart next week after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season.

Taiwo AWONIYI (Mainz O5, Bundesliga)

Former Nigeria junior international, Awoniyi and his club Mainz O5 are sitting precariously on the edge of relegation zone in the German Bundesliga.

Awoniyi who is featuring in his first season in the Bundesliga has not been able to break into the first team and has managed just 455 minutes of gametime, scoring 1 goal in 11 appearances mostly as substitute.

The 22-year old striker is yet to replicate his last season’s form while with Royal Excel Mouscron in Belgium where he netted seven goals in 7 games at Mainz even though it was such display that made the Carnival Club to splash the cash on him.

Mainz are 15th on the log with 31 points after 30 games and need to up their ante in the remaining four fixtures starting with the home game against Ausburg this weekend to escape the drop. A bad ending for Mainz could see Awoniyi go club-searching ahead next season.

Also Read – Bosso Unsure Of NPFL Restart; Insists Clubs Can’t Afford Coronavirus Tests

Kenneth OMERUO & Chidozie AWAZIEM (Leganes, Laliga)

The duo of Nigerian internationals, Omeruo and Awaziem are in the same sinking ship with

Leganes but may not share the same fate. Omeruo is into his second season in the Spanish LaLiga with Leganes who are now neck-deep in relegation waters.

The 26-year old had a solid outing in his first season starting 27 of his 28 LaLiga games and clocking 2,434 minutes to help Leganes finish remarkably in the 13th position. This term, Omeruo had featured in 19 games totalling 1,601 minutes.

Awaziem on his part arrived Leganes at the start of the current season on loan from Turkish side, Rizespor. The 23-year old had hit the ground running having featured 18 LaLiga games totalling 1,504 minutes. And having formed a partnership with his compatriot in the defence, the Super Eagles duo will need to be at their very best to help keep a watertight defence which will be crucial for Leganes to escape the drop.

The Cucumber Growers, as Leganes are known, had returned to the LaLiga in the 2016/2017 season. And having spent the last four seasons in the topflight, they now face a serious relegation threat. Currently 19th on the log after 27 games, Leganes need to salvage their season with just 11 games remaining.

Jamilu COLLINS (SC Paderborn,Bundesliga)

The Super Eagles defender is having a rough time with his German Bundesliga side, Paderborn who need nothing short of a miracle to survive relegation.

Collins is in his third season with Paderborn – from 3rd Liga through 2 Bundesliga and finally helping the side secure promotion to the Bundesliga this season – the second time in the club’s history.

The Nigerian had been a super regular feature all this while posting solid performances and has started all his 26 games for Paderborn this season clocking 2,309 minutes with one goal to his name. This has not gone un-noticed as it has earned him a place in the Eagles.

Paderborn are rock bottom of the Bundesliga having managed just 20 points in 30 games. And with just four rounds of matches to go, they will need to win all their remaining games to stand a possible chance of escaping outright drop or at the least secure a relegation play-off spot.

Isaac SUCCESS (Watford, Premier League)

Former Nigerian junior international, SUCCESS has not really lived up to his name for club and country especially this season. Featuring in his third season for Watford, Success has struggled to tie down regular shirt and is now a bit-part player for the Hornets.

Much was expected from Success having shown so much promise as a youth international but the power-playing striker is yet to translate the promise into reality which also explain why he is still a fringe player for the Super Eagles.

Having managed nine starts in 30 appearances last season scoring one goal, Success has played a paltry total of 65 minutes in 5 games – all as substitute this season for Watford who are just a step above the relegation zone in the Premier League.

And with just 9 games to go when the league restart, Success is not expected to feature prominently in the side and might need to move elsewhere to further his career irrespective of Watford’s fate at the end of the season.

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