Eagles Watch

Man City signs Newcastle target, Olanrewaju for undisclosed fee

ENGLAND

Man City loans Kayode to Spanish club after signing

Manchester City has signed Olarenwaju Kayode from Austria Vienna on a four year deal and have immediately loaned him out to Spanish side Girona.

The 24-year-old finished as the top scorer in Austria’s top flight last season with 17 goals in 33 games.

Kayode, who was also reportedly linked with a move to Newcastle United, opted for City and moves to the newly promoted La Liga outfit Girona where four other City players are to spend the 2017/18 season.

The striker scored 24 goals in all 48 matches for Austria Vienna last season, including two goals in two games against AS Roma in the Europa League.

In total he produced 37 goals and created 18 assists in 85 appearances for Austria Vienna during his two-year spell at the club.

Kayode, who has also played in the Ivory Coast (ASEC Mimosas), Switzerland (FC Luzern) and Israel (Maccabi Netanya), represented Nigeria at the 2009 and 2011 FIFA U-17 and U-20 World Cups respectively.

He made his debut for Nigeria in a friendly against Senegal in March and has three caps for the three-time African Champions.

Iheanacho makes cameo appearance

Leicester new signing, Kelechi Iheanacho played the last 10 minutes as Arsenal came from 2-3 down to secure a 4-3 win at home to the former Premier League champions. Wilfred Ndidi had an inspiring 90 minutes shift for Craig Shakespeare’s team but his compatriot, Ahmed Musa was not listed while Alex Iwobi was an unused substitute.

Elsewhere, there was no show for Isaac Success as Watford was held to a 3-3 draw by Liverpool. England U-20 star, Dominic Solanke was benched throughout the match by Liverpool coach, Jurgen Klopp at The Vic, Saturday afternoon.

Abraham debuts for Swansea

At Stamford Bridge, Victor Moses was suspended as Chesea lost 2-3 at home to Burnley following red cards to captain, Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas. Moses’ compatriot, Fikayo Tomori was a non-playing substitute.

Former Nigeria U-20 invitee Freddie Oladapo watched proceedings from the bench as Crystal Palace lost 0-3 to Huddersfield Town.

At Goodison Park, Everton snatched all three points, beating Stoke City 1-0, with England U-20 striker, Ademola Lookman an unused substitute.

Southampton were held to a goalless draw by Swansea City at the St Mary’s Stadium.

On his debut for the Welsh outfit, Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham, wearing the number 10 jersey, was involved for 81 minutes before he was substituted.

Birmingham City to unveil Onazi, Wednesday

Super Eagles Vice Captain, Eddy Ogenyi Onazi will officially become a player of English Championship side Birmingham City on Wednesday.

A fee of around £4m has been agreed for his transfer from Turkish side Trabzonspor , where he almost terminated his contract last month due to contractual issues.

Manager of Birmingham City, Harry Redknapp views the Nigerian as a positive addition to the team to help their cause of gaining promotion to the English Premier League this season.

Onazi only joined Trabzonspor last season from Italian Serie A side, Lazio but the lure of playing in England made him renegade on his earlier promise of staying with the team this season.

He is expected to have his medical same day before the official announcement of his deal by the club he is already following on Instagram.

…Okoro pens 2-year deal

English-born Nigerian attacking midfielder Nicholas Okoro has penned a fresh two-year contract with Championship outfit Birmingham City.

The 16-year-old posted a picture on Instagram on Thursday, confirming that he has signed a new contract with The Blues.

The highly-rated youngster is among Birmingham City’s new scholars, and will play for their U-18 team this season.

Nicholas’s father represented famous Nigerian club Enugu Rangers.

Birmingham City U18s tackle Millwall in the U18 Professional Development League on Friday, August 11.

6 Nigerian teens make Arsenal squad in heavy defeat

Arsenal suffered 4-1 defeat against Fulham at Motspur Park in their first game of the U-18 Premier League on Saturday.

Six players of Nigerian descent, Tobi Omole, Joseph Olowu, Folarin Balogun, Joseph Olayinka, Bukayo Saka and goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo- were included in Arsenal’s 16-man squad.

Chelsea striker, Tammy Abraham’s younger brother Timmy made his competitive debut for Fulham U18s following his switch from Charlton Athletic in the summer transfer window.

Folarin Balogun would have given Arsenal the lead in the sixth minute after finding himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper but saw his shot saved by Luca Ashby-Hammond.

Two minutes after the intermission, Balogun scored from a header to put Arsenal 1-0 up, only for the hosts to level the game within a minute, before Cameron Thompson netted a  hat-trick.

Of the seven Nigerian players named in the match day squads, only goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo was not handed a run out.

FRANCE

Awaziem dazzles for Nantes in defeat

Chidozie Awaziem had a solid game at the back for French Ligue 1 side Nantes despite Lucas Ocampos late goal which earned Marseille a 1-0 win.

Awaziem made his debut coming on as a substitute last weekend in their 3-0 loss to Lille in the first round of games in the French Ligue 1, and his performance in the game earned him a start against league giants Marseille.

The 20-year-old who is on a season long loan deal from Portuguese giants FC Porto played the entire duration of their 0-1 loss to Marseille.

He was solid in tackles and very comfortable on the ball during the course of the game, where he also showed his strength in aerial duels especially midway through the first half.

His performance earned him praises from fans of the French Ligue 1 side with most of them revealing their delight at his performance on twitter which according to me showed his class.

GERMANY

Osawe scores brace in German Cup

FC Kaiserslautern forward, Osayamen Osawe scored a brace in the 17th and 69th minute as the club secured a 4-0 win over lower league club, Eichede in the German Cup.

The Nigerian-born pacy striker was also voted the Most Valuable Player of the match.

ITALY

Joel Obi shines in big Torino win

Out of favour Super Eagles midfielder, Joel Obi continue his push for a recall to the senior national team with yet again another goal for Torino in their 7-1 thrashing of Trapani in the Coppa Italia.

Obi who found the back of the net in the final two games of Torino’s pre-season ties scored the 5th goal for Torino in the rout, before picking up an assist in the convincing win.

Injury and fitness issues have in the past cost him big both for Nigeria and with his various club sides particularly at Inter-Milan where he failed to make the grade despite his rapid rise from the youth team to the first team.

Last season the 26-year-old made 20 Serie A appearances for Torino, the highest he has managed since 2012 when he made 27 appearances for Inter-Milan.

He has continued with that same form this season as the injury demons now look like a thing of the past for the defensive midfielder who is eager to return to the national team set up of Nigeria.

Nura, Sadiq get first team squad no at Roma

Italian Serie A side Roma has registered the duo of Nura Abdullahi and Sadiq Umar for their campaign in the 2017/2018 season.

Right full-back, Nura has been unlucky with injuries since joining the team from Serie B side Spezia two seasons ago, while Sadiq had to spend last season on loan to Bologna following the departure of Rudi Garcia who gave him his breakthrough the previous season.

However, while Sadiq is heavily tipped with a possible loan move after the club reaffirmed their faith in him by extending his contract, no word have been said about Nura who is fully fit and took part in all of their pre-season training programmes.

The duo have been registered and handed shirt numbers with Sadiq retaining his number 97 jersey number while Nura dumped his previous youth team number for jersey number 22.

HOLLAND

Dessers hits brace in Dutch league opener

Super Eagles wannabe forward, Cyril Dessers opened scoring for Dutch side Utrecht in their 3-0 win over ADO Den Haag in their first game of the season in the Dutch top flight league.

Dessers tapped home from six yards out in the 15th minutes to put Utrecht ahead before Sander van de Streek doubled their lead ten minutes after the half time break with a well placed header from a cross from Urby Emmanuelson.

22- year-old Dessers came close to scoring his second of the game six minutes after the hour mark but he somehow manages to miss the target with the goalkeeper of ADO Den Haag beaten.

There was however no stopping the forward who joined the team in the summer eight minutes from full time when he raced onto a through pass to score his second and his team third goal of the game.

The scorer of 25 goal for NAC Breda the team he fired to promotion last season before teaming up with Utrecht has declared his intentions to play for Nigeria instead of Belgium, the country where he was born and also got invited to their U-19 team.

BELGIUM

Kalu scores in league draw

Samuel Kalu is pleased his strike for Gent helped secure a point for his Belgian top division side in Saturday’s 1-1 draw away to KV Mechelen.

Kalu grabbed his first Belgian league goal of the season on Saturday for Gent, ending their poor start to the league having lost their first two games to Saint-Truiden and Antwerp.

Kalu scored in the 33rd minute but a late strike from Tim Matthijs three minutes from time earned a point for the hosts.

“It’s true that we lost the first two games. But we should not worry too much. There were lots of improvement against Mechelen,” Kalu told his club’s official website.

“So I’m sure it will be better in the next games. The whole team has shown that the quality is certainly present.”

“I thought we played a good game. We went full from the first minute, it’s only a pity that we conceded a goal in extra time.

“It was a moment we lost concentration, I think. We need to pay more attention and hopefully in the next game we will win.”

Kalu’s compatriots Anderson Esiti and Moses Simon were unused substitutes in Saturday’s encounter.

Bonaventure nets 4th goal

Former U-15 striker, Dennis Bonaventure netted his fourth league goal as Club Brugge defeated Zulte-Waregem 2-1.

Dennis scored in the 22nd minute to open the scoring and was in action for 63 minutes, while Peter Olayinka went the distance for Zulte-Waregem.

Elsewhere, former Flying Eagles skipper, Abdul Ajagun started and was in action for 90 minutes in Kortrijk’s impressive 2-1 win at AS Eupen. The attacking midfielder was shown a yellow card in the 58th minute.

Awoniyi scores on birthday

Taiwo Awoniyi is off to a flying start for his new club, Royal Excel Mouscron in their 2-0 win away to Lokeren in the Belgium First Division A.

Awoniyi whose 20th birthday was on Saturday wasted no time in endearing himself to the club fans when he powered home a header in the 23rd minute to put Mouscron one goal up.

The forward who is on a season long loan from Liverpool, his third spell on loan since joining the club two summers ago failed to make his debut last weekend due to work permit issues.

Known for his goal scoring exploits with the junior team of Nigeria, where he showed his prolific self for the U17, U-20 and 23, and even got invited to the B team of the senior national team of Nigeria.

Last season he scored just twice in 18 games during an unhappy loan spell in Holland with NEC Nijmegen who were eventually relegated at the end of last season, same fate he suffered in his first loan spell with German side FSV Frankfurt.

DENMARK

Nigeria’s ‘Peter Crouch’ scores brace in 7-goal thriller

Paul Onuachu who is widely regarded as Nigeria’s Peter Crouch scored a brace in FC Midtjylland 4-3 defeat of FC Nordsjaelland.

Onuachu who made starting line-up alongside compatriot, Rilwan Hassan scored in the 45th and 53rd minute to hand Midtjylland 4-0 lead before Nordsjaelland scored thrice in the last 25minutes.

SWEDEN

Taye Taiwo joins 3rd club in one year

Veteran defender, Taye Taiwo has joined Swedish side AFC Eskilstuna.

The 32-year-old sealed a permanent move to the Allsvenskan on a Bosman after terminating his contract with Swiss Lausanne in early July.

The experienced defender, who has previously played for French giants Olympique Marseille as well as Italian powerhouse Inter Milan is expected to team-up with African compatriot Emmanuel Frimpong at the club.

“We get a really good and experienced left back that will mean great for us. Not only on the plan, but also in the locker room. We are very happy that he is here, says sports director Azad Budak to the club’s website.

Taiwo added:  “I am very happy to be here. Have been training hard before I came here, so I’m in good shape, says the Nigerian who made his first training session with AFC on Wednesday.

The powerful defender has represented Nigeria 54 times and is available for the clash against AIK this weekend.

CZECH REPUBLIC

Sparta Prague close in on Umeh, Ibrahim

Highly rated duo Gozie Umeh and Ibrahim Suleiman have been invited by Czech Republic League giants Sparta Prague for trials.

Umeh is a defensive midfielder who plays for the popular GeeLec Football Academy of Jos while Ibrahim Suleiman is a striker picked from Mutunchi Football Academy of Kaduna.

The duo have already applied for a travelling visa and they are expected to travel for trials as soon as they get a positive response from the embassy.

18-year-old Suleiman is very comfortable on the ball and very quick with an eye for goal, while Umeh who was a part of the 2016 Nigeria U-17 team that failed to qualify for the Africa Youth Championship is a midfielder in the mould of Manchester City’s Yaya Toure.

SOUTH AFRICA

Okiki tries out with Kaizer Chiefs

Kaizer Chiefs has continued its hunt for a new striker, with former Sunshine Stars forward, Okiki Afolabi, the latest trialist to make his way to Naturena.

The Amakhosi have had several players on trial with the club over the last few months as Steve Komphela looks to bolster his squad ahead of the new season, with the likes of Mahamadou Traore, Tanaka Chinyahara, Darren Lurie and Arnaldo Gomes having all tried out of late.

Afolabi, who has played in Nigeria, Argentina and Malaysia, will be hoping for more luck during his time at the club as he looks to persuade Komphela that he is deserving of a contract with the Glamour Boys after his arrival this week.

The 22-year-old has represented his country at youth level over the years, and it looks as though he is hoping that the next step in his career will see him plying his trade in South Africa’s Absa Premiership.

TUNISIA

Sokari rates NPFL high

Former Enyimba midfielder, Kingsley Sokari, who currently plays for CS Sfaxien in Tunisia thinks the rigours of the game in Nigeria makes it easier for a player to adapt anywhere else.

The young midfielder moved from Enyimba to Tunis based Sfaxien in 2015 and he said it was not that difficult for him settling in.

“Any player that played the Nigerian league can play anywhere else in the world because the Nigerian league is a difficult league” Sokari tells the host of popular Nigerian football show Naija Made.

“So when you get to a place like this (Tunisia), I think you adapt very fast because of the way the Nigerian league is. It’s easy for us.”

CS Sfaxien are in the CAF Confederations Cup Quarterfinal stage with Sokari playing every game for far and also with a goal to his credit.

The former Enyimba man speaks on the poor performance of Nigerian sides on the continent and puts it down to fixture congestion and poor scheduling in the NPFL.

CS Sfaxien are fresh from Saudi Arabia where they went for pre season friendlies and Sokari says it was a ‘hot’ experience.

 


DO YOU KNOW?

  1. Chelsea on Saturday, went three goals behind at half-time in a Premier League match at Stamford Bridge for the first time ever.
  2. Chelsea are the first reigning Premier League champions to concede three goals in their opening match of the next season.
  3. Wayne Rooney has set a new Premier League record for the longest gap between goals for the same team (4869 days).
  4. Since the start of the 2015/16 season, Christian Eriksen has assisted more Premier League goals than any other player (29).
  5. Wayne Rooney’s now been involved in 300 EPL goals (199 goals, 101 assists); only Alan Shearer has been involved in more (324).
  6. Jonjo Shelvey is the first Newcastle player to be sent off at St James’ Park in the opening game of a Premier League season since Alan Shearer (1999-00).
  7. Ben Davies has scored twice in his last two Premier League appearances – as many as in his previous 102 combined.
  8. Olivier Giroud has scored seven Premier League goals as a substitute since August 2016; three more than any other player.
  9. Harry Kane is yet to score in any of his previous 10 Premier League appearances in the month of August.
  10. Sergio Aguero’s now scored against 30 of the 31 different clubs that he’s faced in the Premier League for Man City.
  11. Florian Lejeune is the 200th French player to play in the Premier League, the 2nd most represented nation in its history.
  12. Timothy Fosu-Mensah is the first teenager to start a PL game for Crystal Palace since Tom Soares and Ben Watson in May 2005.
  13. Since he signed for Arsenal in June 2012, Olivier Giroud has scored more headed Premier League goals than any other player (26).
  14. Chelsea was given two red cards in the same Premier League game for the first time since March 2014 (vs Aston Villa).
  15. Alexandre Lacazette is just the 7th Arsenal player to score on his Premier League debut for the club.
  16. Man Utd (1967/68) and Man City (1968/69) were both reigning top-flight champions when they lost their opening game the next season.
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