…Musa to make Al Nassr debut, today
As major leagues across Europe commenced at the weekend, there are very few goals scored by Super Eagles players and hopefuls. Though Victor Moses may have lost his place in the starting line-up of Chelsea following the arrival of new boss, Maurizio Sarri, there was however cheering news from the Premiership as teenage midfielder, Luke Amos made a cameo appearance for Tottenham on his debut.
Meanwhile, little-known Arnaut Danjuma outshone Dennis Bonaventure and former U-20 midfielder, Abduljeleel Ajagun by scoring twice in Belgium at the weekend.
The News Editor, ADEBAYO OLODAN compiles yet another extensive report on the performances of Nigerian players abroad.
Alex Iwobi (Arsenal): He was an unused substitute when his team suffered a 0-2 loss at home to Manchester City.
Victor Moses and Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) & Philip Billing (Huddersfield): Moses played the last 9mins while Abraham was not listed as Chelsea defeated Huddesrfield 3-0 away from home. Billing who lasted the duration of the match was one of the shining lights for the losers.
Luke Amos (Tottenham): The youngster made his Premier League debut for the London club, coming in to replace Eric Dier with two minutes left to play in their opening day 2-1 win away to Newcastle United.
Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester): The duo made the starting line-up and put in full shift as their club suffered a 1-2 reverse in the Premier League opener against Manchester Utd.
Isaac Success (Watford) & Leon Balogun (Brighton): Success came on in the 74 min while Super Eagles defender, Balogun was an unused substitute when Watford secured a 2-0 win over their opponents.
Bright Enobakhare (Wolves) & Lookman Ademola (Everton): Enobakhare was in the thick of action while Lookman was not listed as the two teams drew 2-2.
Liverpool scouts Adzerigba
Liverpool is believed to be among top European clubs seeking the services of highly rated young forward, Adzerigba Stanislaus.
Known for space skills and goal scoring prowess the versatile centre forward who also operates on both flanks caught the attention of Liverpool scouts during his short spell at the United Arab Emirates side, Emirates football club scoring total of 29 goals across all competitions.
Reports in local media indicates Liverpool are ready to offer 19-year-old a two weeks trial with a view of registering him with the U23’s.
Everton sets Lookman price tag
Everton has reportedly set England U-21 star Ademola Lookman’s asking price at £30 million amid interest from Bundesliga side, RB Leipzig.
According to The Mirror, Everton has slapped the price tag on Lookman and the winger will cost almost three times the amount The Toffees paid to Charlton to secure his services in January 2017.
Lookman impressed while on loan at RB Leipzig in the second half of last season and was directly involved in 9 goals in 11 appearances in the German topflight.
Kelechi Iheanacho became Nigeria’s most expensive player in history when he joined Leicester City for £25 million, breaking the previous record held by Odion Ighalo, who cost Changchun Yatai £20.97 million.
If RB Leipzig agrees to pay the fee demanded by Everton for Lookman, they will break their transfer record for incoming transfers and the 20-year-old will become the most expensive player of Nigerian descent in history.
The club has had two bids rejected by Everton but can push to close the deal before September 1 despite the transfer window in England closing today.
Chelsea defender arrives Italy ahead Torino switch
Chelsea fullback Ola Aina yesterday arrived in Italy ahead of a loan move to Serie A club, Torino.
Confirming the deal, Italian transfer guru, Gianluca Di Marzio said Aina is looking for a move to a solid top division club where he can play every week.
His season at Hull last time out saw him play a very impressive amount of minutes, but it was in a weak side and didn’t really get to impress.
Torino will be a step up, but one that the defender has merited. Hopefully Maurizio Sarri will be able to keep a close eye on him in the Italian top flight. He can’t be far off Davide Zappacosta’s level.
The Italian window is open until the end of the month, so this story continues.
Omeruo reveals interest from Leganes, Valladolid
Kenneth Omeruo has revealed that Spanish La Liga clubs Leganes and Real Valladolid are in the race to sign him and this transfer could be completed within this week.
Omeruo has played on loan away from Chelsea in Turkey for the past three seasons.
“My future could well be sorted out this week with two clubs from Spain currently working on a deal with Chelsea.
“But Leganes or Real Valladolid must meet the financial terms of Chelsea before a deal will be agreed.”
The central defender also said Turkish clubs Bursapor and Kasimpasa are also keen to have him, but he would prefer to try his luck in a more competitive league in Spain having already played in the Turkish League.
Versatile Omole pens new Arsenal deal
Through a statement on their official website, Premier League side Arsenal has revealed that highly-rated defender Tobi Omole has penned his first professional contract with the London club.
Omole is the fifth Nigerian youngster to agree a new deal with the Gunners in the last six weeks, following in the footsteps of Alex Iwobi, Tolaji Bola, Ryan Alebiosu and Bukayo Saka.
The 18-year-old joined the Emirates outfit in 2016 after he was spotted playing for Thamesmead Town.
He was a box-to-box midfielder when he initially joined Arsenal before he was converted to a central defender by the youth team coaches and is also comfortable playing as a left back.
Omole was a member of the Arsenal squad that reached the final of last season’s FA Youth Cup and made his debut for the U-23 team in the Premier League 2 against Tottenham Hotspur in October 2017.
In March 2018, he trained with the Arsenal first team ahead of their Premier League clash against Watford.
Joel Obi to wear jersey No 22 at Chievo
After putting his signature on paper, Joel Obi has been handed jersey No 22 at Serie A side, Chievo Verona.
The former Parma midfielder who joined his new club from Torino signed a three-year deal with an option for a fourth year.
The midfielder started out at Inter Milan when he came through the youth ranks.
He has made 110 appearances in the Serie A and 14 in the UEFA Champions League.
The 27-year-old midfielder has 17 caps for Nigeria and was part of the Super Eagles squad to Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Adesoye Oyewole (FC Orenburg) & Brian Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow): Oyewole lasted the duration of his club’s 1-0 defeat of Lokomotiv Moscow for whom Idowu was an unused substitute.
Uche Ikpeazu (Hearts): The youngster lasted the duration of his club’s 1-0 defeat of
Efe Ambrose (Hibernian): He was on from start to the end as his team was held to a 1-1 draw by St. Johnston.
Agu considering options in France
FC Porto midfielder, Mikel Ndubuisi Agu has reduced his summer transfer options to only two teams, with the French Ligue 1 duo of Olympique Marseille and Girondins-Bordeaux now left in his sight.
In contrast with initial, reports that Olympiakos of Greece as well as some clubs in Spain and Turkey were also in the race for his signature, Agu is now looking only at the options in France for his next port of call this season.
FC Porto is open to the idea of allowing the 25-year-old leave, as he is not in the plans of their coach, Sergio Conceicao, despite his fine performance while on loan at Bursaspor of Turkey last season.
Interest poured in for him from top clubs around Europe, but Agu eventually stated his preference for France, where Marseille and Bordeaux are now exploring ways of signing him.
Of the French Ligue 1 duo, Marseille appear to be leading the race to hook Agu, ahead of Bordeaux, but his eventual transfer has been stalled by stormy discussions over terms of the deal.
While Marseille want him to join on a loan with an option to buy at the end of next season, Agu is pushing for a permanent exit from Porto after enduring four loan spells in seven seasons with the 2014 UEFA Champions League winners.
Danjuma scores twice, outshines Ajagun, Bonaventure
Club Brugge’s emerging Nigerian-born attacker, Arnaut Danjuma stole the show from his more popular compatriot, Dennis Bonaventure in their team’s victory against KV Kortrijk, who had former Flying Eagles captain, Abduljeleel Ajagun in their line-up.
Heading into the weekend’s match, all previews had been on about Bonaventure getting the nod to lead Brugge’s attack and make hay, but it was Danjuma who outshone the celebrated youngster and equally vibrant Ajagun.
Danjuma’s name was the one on all lips, as Brugge won their third game in the Belgian First Division A by beating Kortrijk 3-0 at Jan Breydelstadion on Friday night.
The Nigerian-born Netherlands U-21 star helped Brugge take the lead as early as the third minute when he dribbled past his marker and struck a curling shot past the opposing goalkeeper.
He was not finished with his killer business, as Danjuma doubled the lead in the eighth minute, with another shot from inside the 18-yard box after breaking clear.
The 21-year-old left footed has two goals and two assists in four appearances for Brugge in all competitions so far in the new season.
Sixteen minutes from time, Danjuma was replaced by Bonaventure, while Kortrijk’s Ajagun was substituted in the 79th minute.
Injury rules out Madu for 4 weeks
Super Eagles fringe player, Kingsley Madu has suffered a groin injury that will keep him out of action with Belgian club Zulte-Waregem for at least four weeks.
He suffered the injury in training.
The 22-year-old leftback has yet to play this new season and has even been linked with a transfer from Zulte-Waregem to reduce the club’s wage bills.
Last season, he made only three appearances in the league for his club after he held so much promise on his arrival from Slovak club AS Trencin in the 2016/17 season.
Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray): The former Anderlecht forward played for 84minutes as his team won 3-1 away at Ankaragucu.
Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor): He lasted the distance and was booked in the 79th min of his team’s 0-2 loss to Istanbul Basaksehir.
Troost-Ekong dedicates goal against Fenerbahce to son
Super Eagles defender, William Troost-Ekong, has dedicated his goal in Saturday’s 2-1 defeats to Fenerbahce in a Turkish Super Lig clash to his baby boy.
The 25-year-old, opened scoring for his team in the 16th minute heading the ball home from Yusuf Erdogan’s corner kick from the right flank.
Fenerbache however rallied back to win the game with two goals from Giuliano Victor and Josef de Souza.
Troost-Ekong’s wife recently gave birth to a bouncing baby boy and the centre-back who expressed his joy with goal he scored, was also disappointed to see his side lose the game.
“Happy to score my first goal of the season tonight against Fenerbahce. Thought we deserved more but we will keep fighting. This one is for you my boy? #Bursaspor #TexasliEkong,” reads a tweet on Troost-Ekong’s Twitter handle.
His international teammate, Shehu Abdullahi, missed the game due to injury.
Ejiogu impresses Hapoel Beer Sheva on trial
Niger Tornadoes striker, Mubarak Ejiogu looks set to be handed a contract by Israeli side Hapoel Beer Sheva after impressing in Friday’s friendly against Hapoel Ramat Gan.
The 18-year-old led the attack and scored a goal for The Camels.
Ejiogu who is on a one-week trial gave a good account of himself.
“He met expectations in the friendly game and looked sharp.
“The club has a good impression of his capabilities,” a top source disclosed.
The explosive forward is a key member of Niger Tornadoes in the 2018/19 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.
David Samuel Nwolokor (SKF Sered) & Christopher Udeh (Zlate Moravce): David was an unused substitute while Udeh rose from the substitutes’ bench in the 46th min of his team’s 0-2 loss to SKF Sered.
Bright Edomwonyi (Austria Wien): He was cautioned in the 53rd min and substituted 12 mins later as his team suffered a 2-0 reverse at Salzburg.
Emeka Eze (Sturm Graz): Came on in the 46th min of his team’s 0-2 loss to St. Poetten.
Moses Ogbu (Sirius): He came on in the first minute of the second half as his team secured a 3-2 win at IFK Gothenburg.
Chima Akas (Kalmar FF): He lasted the entirety of his club’s 2-0 defeat to Oestersunds.
Obasi makes Scandinavian return
Swedish Allsvenskan side IF Elfsborg has announced the signing of former U-23 player, Chinedu Obasi for the remainder of the season.
The striker is returning to Scandinavia for a fourth spell, having previously defended the colours of Lyn Oslo in Norway and AIK Solna, the Swedish club he re-joined in July 2017.
Commenting on his transfer, Obasi told IF Elfsborg’s official website: ”I saw this as such a good adventure. I understand that the club isn’t where it wants to be, so my goal here is to do exactly what my new teammates also will fight for, getting us back to where we belong.
”Stefan Ishizaki spoke well about the club and him together with Stefan Andreasson & Sune Lundqvist had a huge influence on why I wanted to join IF Elfsborg. ”
Apart from the aforementioned clubs, Obasi was previously on the books of Hoffenheim, Schalke 04, Shenzhen and Bolton Wanderers.
On his curriculum vitae, the 32-year-old has represented Nigeria at the U-17 and U-20 World Cups, Olympic Games, World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations.
Ifeanyi Mathew (Lillestrom): He was on for 90 mins when his team lost 0-2 to Sarspabourg.
Stephen Odey (FC Zurich): He played the last 37mins of his club’s goalless draw with St. Gallen.
Ajax battle Brugge for Zubairu
Ajax Amsterdam has joined the race to sign highly rated AS Trencin midfielder, Abdul Zubairu, who has already been linked to Belgian champions, Club Brugge.
The former Golden Boot Soccer Academy (GBS) player was the toast of all fans in his team’s emphatic 4-0 victory against Feyenoord in the Europa League last week.
Owner of GBS Academy Ahmed Ibrahim ‘Coach Bros’ told SCORENigeria: “Zubairu is a promising talent at just 19 years and he is already gaining recognition for himself.
“My partner and I will sit down and study any offer for him, then choose the most suitable club that will suit his style of play and improve his career, so that he could follow in the footsteps of Moses Simon, Samuel Kalu and Hillary Gong, who all started out at Trencin.”
Stephen Eze (Locomotive Plovdiv): The former Kano Pillars defender lasted the duration of his club’s 3-0 win over Vereya.
Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai): The striker bagged an assist to help his team defeat Guangzhou Evergrande 3-2 on Saturday. The former Udinese forward started and played the entirety of the contest staged at Changchun Stadium. In the 90th minute, Ighalo found Long Tan with a perfect pass and the forward applied the finishing touch as the hosts won in the five-goal thriller.
John Obi Mikel (Tianjin Teda): The former Chelsea midfielder appears heading into a period of extended woes at the club, as he was left out totally from their last match day squad list, despite recovering fully from injury.
Musa to make Al Nassr debut, today
Super Eagles forward, Ahmed Musa, is in line to make his debut for Saudi Professional League club, Al Nassr in today’s Arab Champions League clash against United Arab Emirates side, Al Jazira at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
Musa, was part of players and officials of Al Nassr who departed the King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh on Sunday morning for the game.
The former CSKA Moscow star only resumed training with his new club on Friday following his transfer from English Premier League club, Leicester City.
He was accorded a rousing welcome by Al Nassr’s faithful on his arrival at the airport on Friday. Al Nassr and their supporters will be hoping that the former Kano Pillars man replicate his superlative showing for Nigeria at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Al Nassr will look to end a run of three games without a win in the competition when they face Al Jazira.
Lobi threaten to drag Okpotu’s club to FIFA
The management of Lobi stars Football Club of Makurdi has threatened to drag Difaa El Jadidi to FIFA over the transfer fee of Antony Okpotu, who joined the Moroccan side last month.
According to a statement issued by the media officer of the club, Uja Emmanuel, Lobi Stars is yet to collect a dime on the player’s transfer deal.
Lobi Stars expressed their displeasure of the management over the delay by the Moroccan club to pay the transfer fee on Okpotu as was agreed upon and urged then to honour the agreement signed with the Makurdi side, otherwise the matter would be reported to FIFA.
Uja explained that the clarification became necessary following rumours making the rounds that Okpotu’s transfer fee had been received and squandered by the management.
According to Uja, such rumours are plan to distract the club by those who are not happy with the impressive performance of the Team in NPFL.