It was another weekend of mixed fortunes for Super Eagles players and prospects across Europe, China and in the South African league. For some players, they have continued to struggle for playing time while others suffered defeats despite playing their hearts out. Three players of Nigerian origin that have continued to replicate their blistering form in front of goalare; Jude Odion Ighalo, in the Chinese League, Taiwo Awoniyi (Belgium) and Paul Onuachu, otherwise known as ‘Nigeria’s Peter Crouch.’ For the latter, he was widely celebrated in Denmark for reaching 50 goals mark for FC Midtjylland.
If Onuachu continues in that trend, he may find himself crashing into Nigeria’s World Cup squad, reports ADEBAYO OLODAN in yet another extensive compilation of Eagles’ performance abroad.
Wilfred Ndidi, Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City) & Tam Abraham (Swansea): Ndidi saw 90minutes of action as the club defeated Swansea City 2-1 on Saturday, Iheanacho was an unused substitute while Musa was not listed. The leggy Abraham was in action for the losing side.
Victor Moses (Chelsea) & Isaac Success (Watford): the duo missed out of Chelsea’s 4-2 defeat of Watford, due to injuries. While Moses was injured in Chelsea’s last league match, Success suffered a long term injury and has been missing since the beginning of the season.
Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) & Lookman Ademola (Everton): While Lookman played the last 16 mins, Iwobi was an unused substitute while Chuba Akpom was not considered as Arsenal ran riot (5-2) over the Toffees.
Dominic Solanke, Evie Ejaria (Liverpool): Solanke was benched throughout Liverpool’s 4-1 loss to Tottenham, yesterday while Ejaria was not included in the squad.
CHAMPIONSHIP, OTHER LOWER DIVISIONS
In the battle between Chelsea loanees, Barnsley suffered a 1-0 loss to Hull City at Oakwell Stadium.
Ike Ugbo started and was in action for 67 minutes for the home team, Hull City number 34 Ola Aina played the full game and his teammate Fikayo Tomiri was an unused substitute.
Two divisions lower, Uche Ikpeazu scored his seventh goal of the season in all competitions as Cambridge United beat Chesterfield 2-1 at The Cambs Glass Stadium.
The ex-U-23 invitee played the full game and netted the winner in the 78th minute.
Simon Akinola clocked up 85 minutes in Barnet’s 1-1 draw with Yeovil Town. He scored after six minutes for the Bees.
SPAIN (DIV II)
Ramon Azeez (CD Lugo): lasted the entirety of his team’s 2-2 draw at Valladolid, yesterday.
Umar Sadiq (Torino): was on from start to finish as his club suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to AS Roma, yesterday.
Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes): He opened the scoring for the home team in the 9th min putting in a full shift in his team’s 2-1 win against Guingamp.
Balogun injured, doubtful for Algeria tie: Leon Balogun (Mainz 05) had to be substituted in the 79th min of his team’s 2-0 loss to Schalke on Friday with a suspected fractured cheekbone.
The central defender, who has formed a reliable partnership with William Troost-Ekong, is now a doubt for the Super Eagles ahead of the dead-rubber final 2018 World Cup qualifier against Algeria next month, with Rohr set to release his list.
Moses Simon, Samuel Kalu, Anderson Esiti (Gent) & Abdul Ajagun (Kortrijk): Simon opened the scoring at the Guldensporenstadion after 60 minutes, but his team went on to draw 1-1 with Kortrijk. Ajagun and Simon were on parade for 90 mins each but Esiti was substituted in the 84th minute and Kalu entered into the fray after 64 mins.
Henry Onyekuru (Anderlecht): was missing in action as his team lost 1-0 at hone to Genk, Sunday evening.
Taiwo Awoniyi (Excel Mouscron) & Uche Agbo (Standard Liege): Returned to scoring ways as he scored his team’s only goal in their 3-1 home loss to Agbo’s team.
Juvy, Atletico Madrid line up N7.1 bn Onyekuru: Anderlecht striker, Henry Onyekuru is generating transfer interest from top European clubs Juventus and Atletico Madrid, according to the Daily Mail.
There is a possibility that Everton will sell the striker without him playing an official game for the club he joined in the summer transfer window, although it appears he is not eligible to be granted a work permit in England.
Onyekuru may be searching for his first goal in a European club competition after three games, but has been in the headlines for his performance against PSG on last Wednesday and his brilliant start to his career at Anderlecht.
It cost Everton £7 million to acquire the Nigerian from Eupen and any club interested in signing Onyekuru when the window opens may have to pay in the region of £15million (approximately N7.1 billion) for his services.
Atletico Madrid are scouring the market for a long-term replacement for Fernando Torres and Onyekuru is on their agenda.
The 20-year-old has more than four years left on his contract with Everton.
Efe Ambrose (Hibernian): Was on for 90 mins as his team lost 4-2 at home to Celtic.
Ex-U-17 skipper, 3 others join Vizela: Portuguese third division side Vizela, has concluded the transfer of four highly rated Nigerian teenagers, including Abduljabbar Sani who captained the 2016 U-17 team.
Others are, right full-back, Isah Musa, Emmanuel Kuku and Zakari Yaro both forwards.
Already the quartet have resumed training with the Portuguese club who are currently top of the Campeonato de Portugal, Group A table with 14 points after six games.
The club will be hoping the quartet help boost their chances of gaining promotion to the second division next season owing to their fine start to the season as they are yet to lose a game this current season.
“Vizela is a very ambitious club, so we took them there to help them get use to European football as well as the demands, all of them are yet to play any level of football so Vizela is a very good start for them”, Babawo Mohammed the agent of the quartet disclosed.
“They were among the boys picked from our last scouting tournament in Keffi, Nasarawa State. So we hope they progress as expected at Vizela. They have the talent to succeed no doubt”, he added.
Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag) & Kelechi Nwakali (VVV Venlo): Ebuehi went the distance and provided the assist for his team’s first goal while Arsenal loanee Kelechi Nwakali got only four minutes of game time when ADO Den Haag claimed a 2-0 win at Venlo.
Bartholomew Ogbeche (Willem II): The former Super Eagles striker finally returned from injury and was an unused substitute when his team defeated Groningen 1-0 away from home.
Eddy Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor) & Sincere Seth (Yeni Malatyaspor): Onazi returned to action for his team and played for 60 mins of Trabzonspor’s 1-0 loss to Yeni Malatyaspor, while former U-23 midfielder, Seth was an unused substitute.
Recall that Onazi Onazi was forced out of the Eagles decisive 2018 World Cup qualifier against Zambia in Uyo, earlier this month. He later announced he had regained full fitness earlier than expected.
William Troost-Ekong and Mikel Agu (Bursaspor) & Elderson Echiejile (Sivaspor): The duo saw 90 mins of action as their team drew 0-O with Sivaspor for whom the injured Echiejile was missing.
Agu, Troost-Ekong honoured to receive President Buhari: Bursaspor Nigerian imports, William Troost-Ekong and Mikel Agu were happy to receive President Muhammadu Buhari and also shook hands with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, last Thursday.
Troost-Ekong shared a picture of the meeting on Twitter, saying he was “honoured”.
He went on to describe how he felt in meeting President Buhari and his Turkish counterpart.
Honored ? @MBuhari @rterdogan.
President Buhari arrived Turkey on Wednesday accompanied by his wife, Aisha and children, for the D8 Summit.
Leeds monitoring Alhassan: Representatives of Championship club, Leeds Utd were spotted at Ernst-Happel-Stadion, during Austria Vienna’s last two matches.
The Whites watched their 3-1 loss to Rijeka in the Europa League, Thursday evening and were also in attendance for Sunday’s Bundesliga match with Rapid Vienna.
Former Akwa United forward, Alhassan Ibrahim was a non-playing substitute against the Croatian team but logged 90 minutes in the Vienna derby.
Alhassan previously trained with Premier league giants, Manchester City before the former Flying Eagles player signed a one-year deal in Austria at the beginning of the season.
‘Nigeria’s Peter Crouch’ scores 50th goal for club: Paul Onuachu (Midtjylland): netted the last goal yet again as his team secured a 4-2 win over AC Horsens, Friday evening. Onuachu, who is referred to as ‘Nigeria’s Peter Crouch’ has now scored 50goals for his Dannish club, FC Midtjylland since joining the team in 2014.
33 of those goals have come in the league, 8 in Europa league and another 9 in the DBU landspoka.
Taye Taiwo and Chidi Omeja (AFC Eskilstuna): Taiwo played for 75mins as his team lost 3-2 to Elsborg while Omeja found the back of the net in the 70th minute for AFC Eskilstuna to level matters at 2-2.
Degerfors adds Daniel, Ladan, Abdul to roaster: Second division Swedish side, Degerfors has concluded the signing of the trio of Joel Daniel, Ladan Mohammed and Najeeb Abdul to boost their chances of gaining promotion to the top division.
The players impressed during a tournament in Sweden, where they represented the famous Geelec Academy of Jos three weeks ago, according to their agent Babawo Mohammed.
“Three of the players we took to Sweden are heading to Degerfors, namely Joel Daniel, Ladan Mohammed and Najeeb Abdul. The idea is to have let them play there for a while”, Babawo stated.
“They will be leaving soon for Sweden, we have received all documents from the club and what is left now is for the Embassy to grant them travelling visa.
“Some of the players I took were also picked but for now I can’t reveal their names and also the clubs they will be going to, but for sure they are going to leave before the end of the year”, he concluded.
Suleiman Omolade (PAS Lamia): Played all 90munutes as his team drew 1-1 against Panathinakos on Saturday.
Gbolahan Salami and Reuben Gabriel (KuPS): Salami scored the winning goal one minutes after coming off the bench in the 2-1 defeat of JJK while his teammate, Gabnriel played all 90 mins.
Chelsea-linked Onyewuenyi rejects Maccabi Haifa: American-born Nigerian midfielder, Kelechi Onyewuenyi has turned down a move to Israeli club Maccabi Haifa.
Having been linked with a transfer to Chelsea, Norwegian and Swedish clubs, Maccabi Haifa appeared to be the player’s destination after he was invited to try out with the Greens.
Maccabi Haifa coaches were highly impressed with the performance of Onyewuenyi during the two weeks trials and the club had offered him a four-year contract until the end of the 2020-2021 season.
Maccabi had an option to release him from the agreement at the end of each season by written notice no later than May 1 of each year but the midfielder and his camp turned down the proposal, insisting that the duration of the deal has to be a maximum of two years.
Onyewuenyi’s developmental contract with Houston Dynamo expired when he turned 18, and he is currently a free agent.
Ighalo scores 15th goal, wins award: Odion Ighalo has continued his blistering form in front of goal as he fired his 15th goal of the season for Chanchgchun Yatai in the Chinese Super League.
The 28-year old was also voted man of the match in the game which saw his side beat Jiangsu Suning 3-1.
Ighalo’s club are now comfortably eighth on the Chinese Super League table with 38 points from 28 matches.
The striker drew his team level after 29 minutes and then assisted for their third goal in the 82nd minute. The Changchun Yatai skipper is now 10goals behind the league’s leading scorer Eran Zahavi of Guangzhou R&F.
There are now two rounds of matches before the season ends in China.
Mikel Ob I (Tianjin Teda): Was in action for 90 mins as his team defeated Beijin Guona 2-0.
Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa Utd) & Obinna Nsofor (Cape Town City): Akpeeyi was in goal in the 2-1 win of his team over Cape Town City while Eagles outcast, Nsofor played the last 11 mins of the match for the opposing side.