After a surprise 4-2 win over Argentina in an international friendly in Krasnodar, Russia, last Tuesday, the Super Eagles players returned to action for their respective clubs in Europe at the weekend. Among those that made the headlines was a certain teenager, Adetayo Edun who posted an assured on his performance for his debut for Fulham in the English Championship despite his relatively young age.
In this report, ADEBAYO OLODAN yet again, captures the performances of Nigerian players across Europe and in the Chinese Cup final where the ageless Obafemi Martins stole the show with the solitary goal of the match. The former Inter Milan and Newcastle Utd forward can only hope his goal will be enough to earn him a recall to the Super Eagles ahead of Russia 2018.
Alex Iwobi (Arsenal): Came off the substitutes’ bench in the 84th minute as his team defeated Tottenham 2-0 at the Emirate Stadium.
Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa (Leicester City): Ndidi played for 90minutes while Iheanacho was introduced in the 67th min but Musa was missing as their club lost 2-0 to Manchester City.
Tosin Adarabioyo (Man City): Was not considered for selection.
Tammy Abraham (Swansea City): Started and was involved for 82 minutes in his team’s 2-0 loss to Burnley at Turf Moor.
Freddie Ladapo (Crystal Palace) & Ademola Lookman (Everton): Ex- U-20 invitee, Ladapo missed out on the Eagles 18-man squad while Lookman played the whole of the first half for the Toffees in the 2-2 draw between both clubs.
Dominic Solanke and Ovie Ejaria (Liverpool): Newly capped England international, Solanke watched proceedings from the bench for the entirety of the game just as Ejaria didn’t make the squad.
Moses to return against Liverpool – Conte
Antonio Conte has revealed that Victor Moses could return from injury in time to face Liverpool next weekend.
Moses has been sidelined since suffering a serious hamstring injury in the 2-1 loss against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in October.
His absence has robbed Conte of his first-choice right wing-back, with defender Cesar Azpilicueta often being forced to fill in for the Nigerian while Davide Zappacosta took on Moses’ duties in the 4-0 win over West Brom on Saturday.
Chelsea has a busy week ahead with a trip to face Qarabag in the Champions League on Wednesday and to Anfield to take on Liverpool next Saturday.
Conte revealed that Moses should make his matchday squad for the clash with Jurgen Klopp’s side, with the 26-year-old set to return to full training on Sunday.
Speaking after the win against West Brom at the Hawthorns, Conte said: “Victor Moses is progressing well and I hope to have him back from tomorrow, for the game after Qarabag.
Wonderkid named MVP as Utd held Man City
Lagos-born midfielder, Tosin Kehinde put up his best displays in a Manchester United shirt as the team was held to a 1-1 draw by Manchester City in a Premier League 2 encounter at Leigh Sports Village Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The 19-year-old wowed the Red Devils supporters with his performance, especially in the second half, and was named the most outstanding player on the pitch by several Manchester United experts, including mufclatest.com.
Kehinde has excelled for Manchester United this season, and has started six of their last games in the Premier League 2.
Tosin Adarabioyo and Tom Dele-Bashiru were in action for Manchester City in the derby, United’s Matthew Olosunde is still recovering from injury and wasn’t in the match day squad.
Olayinka’s stock rises at Emirates Stadium
Another Nigerian kid, James Olayinka got fans and observers all talking in glowing terms about the giant strides he is making in the kiddies academy of Arsenal.
Olayinka’s emergence got a mammoth leap at the end of the week, as he was allowed to join in training with The Gunners’ main squad on Friday morning, ahead of their English Premier League clash against Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium.
The 17-year-old was among four academy players in attendance at the training session, the others being Eddie Nketiah and goalkeepers Matt Macey and Deyan Iliev.
A full-blooded midfielder, Olayinka can also be deployed as a winger and has scored two goals for Arsenal U18s this term.
However, with the first year scholar featuring for the U18s against Norwich City on Friday afternoon, he was out of reckoning to make The Gunners’ squad for Saturday’s clash against Tottenham.
…another teenager, Balogun on target
Nigerian-born youngster, Folarin Balogun was on song with a goal, as The Gunners’ junior team climbed to second spot in the U18 Premier League standings by beating Norwich City 3-0.
Balogun gave Arsenal a dream start when he opened the scoring in the fifth minute to take his tally for the season to five goals from eight league matches, making the 16-year-old his side’s top scorer at U18 level with six goals across all competitions.
Balogun started the game at Shenley Training Centre on Friday afternoon alongside Tobi Omole and Xavier Amaechi, while Ayo Tanimowo and Republic of Ireland youth-teamer Adam Idah started for The Canaries.
James Olayinka set up Matthew Smith for Arsenal’s third goal in the 89th minute after coming off the bench on the hour mark, but England U17 goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo, Joseph Olowu, Armstrong Okoflex and Bukayo Saka were not named in The Gunners’ squad.
Sone Aluko (Reading): He came on as a 67th min substitute as his team drew 0-0 with Wolves on Saturday.
Ola Aina (Hull City): Played all 90minutes as his team drew 2-2 with Ipswich Town.
Teenage left-back, Edun makes league debut for Fulham
Teenage Nigerian left-back, Adetayo Edun was handed his league debut by manager Slaviša Jokanovic as Fulham were held to a 1-1 draw by Derby County in the EFL Championship on Saturday evening.
Prior to stepping out onto the Craven Cottage turf yesterday, Edun had featured five times for the first team of the Cottagers, but all the appearances came in the League Cup.
”It’s also good news for England and the Fulham academy that we used Tayo today, who is a European champion with the youth England national team,” manager Jokanovic told fulhamfc.com.
”We also used Luca de la Torre, who is another young player who has been working with us for over a year. Both players showed they can play in this level.
”They didn’t play scared, and they impressed against one of the more experienced teams in the Championship. This can be important and exciting news for us.”
The 19-year-old Edun has represented England at Under 17, Under 18, Under 19 and Under 20 level.
Efe Ambrose (Hiobernian): Was on for 90minutes as his club lost 2-1 at home to St. Johnstone.
Uzoho reveals 2018 World Cup dream
Deporivo La Coruna of Spain goalkeeper, Francis Odinaka Uzoho has confessed that he has a strong dream of wearing Nigeria’s colours at next year’s World Cup in Russia, next year.
Though he is still a teenager, Uzoho got his senior debut with the Super Eagles in Tuesday’s 4-2 victory against Argentina, but the youngster is now setting his sight on even greater things with the Nigerian squad.
While revealing how he got comforting words from Eagles’ gaffe, Gernot Rohr before he went on in last Tuesday’s friendly, Uzoho said he was happy to keep a clean slate in his debut for Nigeria, and believes he can do even better than he did against Argentina.
Uzoho replaced Chippa United of South Africa goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi just before the start of the second half and won over most followers of the Eagles with his performance, which he now says he aims to replicate at Russia 2018.
” The coach (Rohr) told me to go out there and enjoy myself, and I did just that. I give all the glory to God for how my career has progressed so far, and I hope to be in the World Cup squad for Nigeria.
”Every player dreams of going to the senior World Cup and my case is not different, by the grace of God with hard work on my part I hope to make the Nigerian team to the World Cup in Russia next year,” Uzoho said.
Ikechukwu Uche (Gimnastic): He netted the winner as his team defeated Numancia 2-1 away on Sunday.
Ramon Azeez (CD Lugo): Played 90mins as his team won 2-1 against FC Lorca.
Jordan Torunarigha (Hertha Berlin): Sat on the substitutes’ bench for the duration of his team’s 2-4 loss to Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Leon Blogun (Mainz 05): Was missing during his club’s 1-0 defeat of hard fighting FC Cologne.
Chigozie Awaziem (Nantes): Played for 90minutes and was cautioned in the 67th min when his team lost 4-1 to high flying PSG.
Vincent Enyeama (Lille): Not considered for his team’s 3-1 win over St-Etienne as he is yet to recover fully from injury.
Kingsley Ehizibue (PEC Zwolle): Put in a full shift but his team ended up losing 0-1 at home to PSV Eindhoven.
Cyriel Dessers (FC Utrecht): Scored the curtain raiser in the 8th min and was substituted in the 82nd min of his team’s 3-1 defeat of Excelsior, yesterday.
Bartholomew Ogbeche (Willem II): Returned to the starting line up and made it count as he netted the club’s leveller to help salvage a point in their 2-2 draw against Sparta Rotterdam.
Kelechi Nwakali (VVV Venlo):Was on the bench for 90 mins as his team played out a 1-1 draw with Feyenoord.
Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag): He followed up his impressive performance for Nigeria against Argentina with another solid display for his Dutch side. Ebuehi started from the right side of defence and lasted the entire duration as they secured a 4-1 win over Heracles.
Akinola tries out with PSV
PSV Eindhoven has handed a trial to Nigerian-born USA youth international, Ayomide Akinola, with a view to signing him in the January transfer window.
The 17-year-old put himself in the shop window after starring for the United States in last month’s FIFA U17 World Cup in India, in which he scored one goal and provided an assist in five matches and helped USA reach the quarterfinals of the competition.
Etebo gets massive transfer clause
CD Feirense of Portugal midfielder, Oghenekaro Etebo has had a massive buyout clause of 10million euros (about N4.19 billion) inserted into his contract with the club.
This comes after he penned a deal that will keep him at the Portuguese club until June 30, 2019.
It is envisaged that Etebo will see out the whole of this season at CD Feirense but his stock will rise if he features for the Super Eagles at the 2018 World Cup.
The 21-year-old would have departed the Estádio Marcolino de Castro outfit as a free agent in June 2018, given that he was in the final year of his former contract, if he had not prolonged his stay.
While the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, Leicester City and West Bromwich have watched him in action in the past, no bid has been received by CD Feirense.
Galatasaray and Young Boys are keeping tabs on Etebo ahead of a possible move for the versatile midfielder.
Russia 2018: Rohr leaves door open for Alampasu
CD Feirense of Portugal shot stopper, Dele Alampasu is still in the plans of coach of the senior national team of Nigeria Gernot Rohr ahead of the World Cup in Russia next year.
Many have thought that the emergence of Francis Odinaka Uzoho who made his debut against Argentina in Tuesday’s 4-2 friendly win over Argentina could mean the end of Alampasu’s international career.
However coach of the team Rohr will still hand the former Nigeria U17 goalkeeper, who was first choice ahead of Uzoho in the 2013 World Youth Championship a chance to fight for a shirt next year.
“Dele (Alampasu) still has a chance of going to the World Cup with Nigeria, Uzoho’s emergence doesn’t mean the end of him. He has been with the team and Rohr will no doubt give him a shot at the number one gloves next year”, a team source told Owngoalnigeria.com.
“Uzoho is now ahead of even Akpeyi but it still doesn’t mean he is first choice, there’s a long way to go from now till the World Cup in Russia, so every goalkeeper doing well will get a look in”.
Aaron Samuel Olanare (CSKA): Was benched for the duration of his club’s 4-2 win at SKA-Khabarovsk.
Fegor Ogude and Brian Idowu (Amkar): The duo lasted 90 mins of their team’s goalless draw at FC Rostov.
Ogu marvels over Eahles’ new formation
Hapoel Be’er Sheva midfielder, John Ugochukwu Ogu is still waxing lyrical over Super Eagles’ stunning 4-2 win against Argentina, claiming the result was achieved largely due to the new formation that was unfolded on the night by the team’s coach, Gernot Rohr.
Ogu said he was happy to be part of the historic victory in Krasnodar, Russia, which he acknowledged has shored up the Eagles’ evaluation in the eyes of soccer pundits worldwide.
While giving thanks to God for helping the team scale the odds against La Albiceleste, the former Academica de Coimbra of Portugal towering playmaker agreed that the Eagles initially struggled to cope in the first half, but adduced it to the unfamiliar tactical formation employed by Rohr.
Ogu, though, went on to state on social media that it was the same unfamiliar formation that bamboozled the Argies and eventually allowed the Eagles catch them unawares with three well taken goals in the second half.
He tweeted: “First time in a Formation of such. Tough first half but we came out strong and everyone sacrificed for each other to come out with such a great result. I’m really proud of the efforts. God is good. God bless Nigeria.”
Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor) & Raheem Lawal and Aminu Umar (Osmanlispor FK): Onazi was on for the entirety of his team’s 4-3 defeat of Osmanlispor, same for Lawal even as his teammate, Umar was substituted in the 76th min of the match.
Elvis Manu (Genclerbirligi): Made a 14 mins appearance for his team in their 2-1 loss at home to Kayserispor.
Okechukwu Godson Azubuike (Yeni Malatyaspor): Was introduced in the 62nd minute of his club’s 0-1 loss to Alanyaspor.
Patrick Eze and Imoh Ezekiel (Konyaspor): Eze rose from the substitutes’ bench in the 64th min just as Ezekiel was substituted 7 mins into the second half of their club’s 1-1 draw at home to Antalyaspor.
Willam Troost-Ekong and Mikel Agu (Bursapor): Was on from start to finish as his team played a goalless draw against Goztepe while Agu was not listed.
Manuel Akanji (Basel) : The 22-yr-old Swiss-born defender lasted the duration of his team’s 5–1 thumping of Sion. Akanji, who made two appearances for the Switzerland U-20 national team is still eligible to play for Nigeria.
Stanley Amuzie (Lugano): The Super Eagles outcast was an unused substitute in the 2-0 away win at St. Gallen.
Stephen Odey (FC Zurich): The former MFM striker, played the last 9 mins of his team’s 2-1 loss at Young Boys.
Innocent Emeghara (Ermis Aradippou) & Shehu Abdullahi (Anorthosis): The duo made the starting line-up as visitors Anorthosis was leading 1-0 at half time in the late kick off match, yesterday.
Kim Ojo (Lyngby): He watched proceedings of his team’s 1-3 loss at home to Randers FC.
Simon Okosun (AC Horsens) & Izunna Uzochukwu (OB): Okosun lasted the distance of his club’s goalless draw with OB while Uzochukwu who was cautioned in the 41st min was substituted in the 80th min.
Issa Adekunle (Presov): Was booked in the 44th min and substituted in the 75th min as his team drew 1-1 at home to Zlate Moravce.
Yusuf Otubanjo (Zilina) & Musefiu Ashiru (Dunajska Streda): Former U-20 midfielder, Otubanjo came on in the 60th min while of Ashiru tasted only one minute of action in the goalless draw between both sides.
Shaloze Udoji Chigozie, Charles Ezeh, Moses Ebiye and Marco Tagbajumi (Lillestroem): Chigozie made the starting line-up while the trio of Ezeh, Ebiye and Tagbajumi were on the substitutes’ bench. As at half time the score was 1-0 in favour of the away team, Molde.
Samuel Adegbenro (Rosenborg): He provided the assist for Niklas Bendtner’s 8th min goal as Rosenborg led Viking 2-0 after resumption in another late kick off match.
Ohi Anthony Omoijuanfo (Stabaek): Missed a 35th min penalty as his team trail Sogndal 1-0 at the interval.
Ibrahim Shuaibu started, Izuchukwu Anthony, Ikenna Ikedi (FK Haugesund): Shuaibu made the starting line up but Anthony and Ikedi sat on the bench as Tromsoe led their club 1-0 at half time as at the time of filing this report.
Chidera Ejuke (Valerenga): Scored in the 8th min as his club led Odds Ballklubb 2-0 going into the interval.
Suleiman Omolade (Lamia): Played all 90minutes in the midfield of his Greek club as they drew 1-1 with AOK Kerkyra.
Alhassan Ibrahim (Austria Wien): Played the last 19 mins of his club’s 2-1 defeat at home to Admira Moedling.
Uche Agbo (Standard Liege) & Joseph Akpala (Oostende): Agbo saw 79 mins of action in the two team’s goalless draw while Akpala played for 60 mins.
Henry Onyekuru (Anderlecht) & Taiwo Awonoyi (Royal Excel Mouscron): Onyekuru scored the winner in the 80th min as his club won 2-1 against Mouscron even as former U-20 forward Awonoyi played for fired blank for 90mins.
Martins auditions for Rohr with Cup final goal
Obafemi Martins emerged the hero for his team Shanghai Greenland Shenhua scoring the lone goal in their 1-0 win over Shanghai SIPG in the first leg of the Yanjing Be’er 2017 Chinese FA Cup.
Martins who was voted the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the semi-final round of the competition scored what ended as the winner for his team in the 38th minute.
The goal will see his team go into the second leg of the final game needing a draw to win the Cup in China, a title they last won in 1998, and twice ended up as runners-up in 2015 and 1995 respectively.
The 33 year old still has dreams of representing Nigeria at the World Cup despite almost two years in the international wilderness, but present manager Gernot Rohr has left the door open for him to stage a comeback.
Rohr said Martins just like any other Nigerian player can still force his way into his team if he maintains a scoring form that deserves to be rewarded with a call up to the team.