Moses Simon enjoyed another encouraging campaign in the Jupiler League for KAA Gent and continue to establish himself as one of Nigeria’s brightest talents in Gernot Rohr’s new generation.
Doubtless, his form has attracted admiring glances from elsewhere in Europe in recent transfer windows, although should he move to any of his prospective suitors, it would be a significant gamble for player and club.
Simon enjoyed a decent 2016/17 campaign with Gent and, out of the various Nigerian players on the books of the Ghelamco Arena outfit, it was he who made the most appearances.
He was on parade 42 times across all competitions, and returned a total of five goals and seven assists. Also, his performances, alongside the likes of Anderson Esiti and Samuel Kalu, helped his side reach the Uefa Europa League Round of 16, where they crashed out to Belgian rivals Genk 6-3.
One of his best showings in Europe last campaign came against Tottenham Hotspur in the round of 32. He put in a massive display to unsettle Spurs’ defence as his side defeated Mauricio Pochettino’s men 3-2 on aggregate.
It’s the kind of performance that will doubtless have turned a few heads across Europe.
Spirited performances such as those against a top side, in Europe, often help place players in the face of would-be admirers.
New Liverpool signing Mohamed Salah is one example, as his displays at FC Basel against Chelsea in the same competition a few seasons ago ultimately led him to Stamford Bridge.
It’s not a big surprise that reports are doing the rounds suggesting the player, who recently turned 22, has been on Pochettino’s wishlist as the Argentine seek to build upon his side’s success in the Premier League.
However, there’s more concrete interest from top flight newcomers Brighton and Hove Albion who have had a bid of £8.4 million rejected, according to the Daily Mail .
Alongside Spurs and the Seagulls, Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion are also reportedly keen on bringing the diminutive winger to England.
What to expect next season
Although the Buffalos tied the former Trencin man to a deal till 2019 early last year, they appear to have kept their options open and, for the right price, would surely be willing to cash in on Simon.
Considering Chris Hughton’s insistence on adding new faces to his Brighton squad for a challenge to stay in the top flight, the Seagulls might just be willing to match Gent’s request.
They have captured goalkeeper Mat Ryan and Pascal Gross, but are yet to add to a forward line that includes Glenn Murray, Sam Baldock and Tomer Hemed. Simon would inject pace, trickery and versatility to their squad.
In the best interests of the player, a move to a team like Liverpool and Tottenham might not be the best, as both sides already have a myriad of attacking options. However, a switch to Brighton, where he’d surely get much more game time, would serve his career better…even if the Seagulls might find themselves under the cosh a lot this season.
In fact, for now at least, he may be best served to continue his career in Belgium and help Hein Vanhaezebrouck’s side challenge for the title next season. The prospect of a Europa League campaign may also appeal.