Eagles Watch

Mikel’s future at Chinese club, bleak

…Nnamani scores winner in Sweden

As Nigerians celebrate the impressive moves of some Super Eagles players and hopefuls, one player whose future appears doubtful in China is John Obi Mikel. Though the player is recuperating from a knee injury, Tianjin Teda coach, Uli Stielike has however confirmed that Mikel will only get to play if the club’s new Brazilian signing is not fit or out injured. Facing similar challenge at Chelsea and Standard Liege are; Victor Moses and Uche Agbo in that order. The duo have both found playing time limited this season.
Meanwhile, former Super Eagles forward, Victor Obinna is presently battling to resuscitate his career after showing up at Serbian club, Partizan Belgrade for trials.
The News Editor, ADEBAYO OLODAN yet again, reports the exploit of Nigerian players abroad ahead of the September African Nations Cup tie with Seychelles.


Philip Billing (Huddersfield): He made the starting line-up and was cautioned in the 51st min as his team suffered a 6-1 humiliation against Manchester City.
Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) & Victor Moses and Tammy Abraham (Chelsea): Iwobi scored a goal in the 41st min and provided an assist when his club lost 2-3 to Chelsea for whom Moses was an unused substitute while Abraham was not listed.
Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho (Leiceister): Ndidi lasted 90mins while Iheanacho was introduced in the 83rd mins as their team earned a 2-0 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Leon Balogun (Brighton Hove Albion): He lasted the duration of his team’s famous 3-2 win over Manchester Utd.
Ademola Lookman (Everton): The England U-21 star made the match day squad when his team secured a 2-1 win over Southampton.


Ogenekaro Etebo (Stoke City): He was introduced in the 84th minute of his team’s 2-2 draw at Preston North End.


Juventus starlet, Udoh linked with Portuguese club

Italian-Nigerian striker, King Udoh has been linked with a transfer to Portuguese club, Leixoes before the end of August.
The 20-year-old is said to have agreed terms with the Ledman Liga Pro side and suggested that only an official announcement is remaining.
Luxembourg National Division club Union Titus Pétange and Ukrainian outfit Zorya Luhansk were both credited with an interest in signing the young forward this summer but nothing came out of it.
He arrived Juventus in 2011 and has yet to make his competitive debut for the first team.
Udoh was born in Reggio Emilia, Italy and started his career with Reggiana.

Porto ponders fresh loan exit for Awaziem

FC Porto is said to be considering sending Chidozie Awaziem out on loan once again, despite his return from a lofty spell at FC Nantes of France.
Expectations had been high that Awaziem, who was part of Nigeria’s squad to the World Cup but did not play a single match, would finally settle at Porto this season, following his exploits at Nantes.
However, Porto is thinking differently, and all fingers point towards another loan exit for Awaziem, who has failed to pick up from where he left off last season.
Although he featured in Porto’s pre-season games, Awaziem is still waiting for his first appearance after three competitive games in the new campaign of the Portuguese Primera Liga.
However, Nantes has proposed to have him on another loan spell, and Porto is expected to make a decision before the end of the current transfer window on August 31.
Awaziem is yet to commit to a new deal at Oporto and, with two years left on his present contract with the club, he may still be open to return in future after another loan spell for regular playing time elsewhere.


Cyriel Dessers (FC Utrecht) & Kingsley Ehizibue (PEC Zwolle): Dessers played a cameo role by coming off the substitutes’ bench with in the 84th min while Ehizebue lasted the duration of FC Utrecht’s 2-0 defeat of PEC Zwolle.


Dennis Bonaventure (Club Brugge): He was substituted in regulation time of his club’s 1-1 draw with Royal Antwerp.
Abduljeleel Ajagun (KV Korijik): He lasted 68 mins when his club lost 1-2 at home to Oostende.

Agbo faces Liege exit

Uche Agbo could well exit Standard Liege this summer and speculations about his future at the Belgian club were fueled after he was frozen out in a 3-0 win at Lokeren.
Agbo has enjoyed regular football at Standard in the new season, but he was an unused substitute when the team beat hosts Lokeren on Saturday.
The midfielder said the win was a huge relief to end a poor run for the Belgian league runners-up from last season.
“It was a great relief for the team to win after going four matches without a victory and after we were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League by Ajax,” he said.
Agbo, who moved to Belgium last season from Spanish club Granada CF on a three-year contract, will not comment on a likely transfer away from Standard.
He helped the team win the Belgian FA Cup last season.
Standard has asked for $5 million after Serie A club Torino inquired about him.

Umar Sadiq and Ovie Ejaria

(Rangers): Sadiq was a 79th min substitute while Ejaria lasted the duration of their team’s 3-1 away win at Kilmarnock.

Ufa sacks Kehinde

Russian Premier League side, FC Ufa has terminated the contract of Kehinde Fatai.
The 28-year-old striker had a year left on the three-year deal he signed when he joined from Czech Republic outfit Sparta Prague in 2016.
He scored 6 goals in 46 appearances for FC Ufa in all competitions as he endured a largely disappointing spell in Russia.
The club confirmed the decision to terminate his contract on Twitter.
The tweet read: “By mutual agreement between the parties of FC Ufa, the contract with Nigerian striker Kehinde Fatai is ended. For Ufa he played 46 matches, scored six goals.”
The now free agent paid tribute to the club as he told the club’s website: “Ufa is one of the best clubs in which I have played. The city and the people are fantastic. I adapted quickly, everything is very good with no problem. My next destination is not confirmed yet but I will let you know in a few days.”
“The two years I spent here were fantastic because I worked with good people and staff in a good city with great fans. Everything is very good. I want to see Ufa in the Europa League group stage.” He added.
Apart from Sparta Prague and FC Ufa, Kehinde also played for Romanian sides Farul Constanta and Astra Giurgui in Europe. He has previously featured for Sharks and Lobi Stars.


Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor): He lasted the duration of his team’s 3-1 defeat of Sivasspor.
Seth keen on keeping momentum
Yeni Malatyaspor shocked Fenerbahce 1-0 in a Turkish Super Lig week two fixture on Saturday, with young defender Sincere Seth showing class for the homers.
The former U-23 defender who featured at right back has urged his teammates to keep the momentum.
“We’re high in confidence at the minute but the games we’ve won are gone now and we have to keep up the same standards,” the versatile defender told Footballlive.ng.
“We can’t let our performances drop because at this level if you don’t give your best you get punished – we know that.
Seth added: “Holding regular spot is always a good thing for a player but I think it’s a collective effort – especially in our team. I think there’s a good understanding in the squad as a whole.
“Defensively we’re really solid and I think the lads know each other better, when to cover each other and put 100 per cent effort into every game. There’s a mutual trust.”
Nwakaeme teams up with Onazi
Trabzonspor midfielder, Eddy Ogenyi Onazi has welcomed his Nigerian compatriot, Anthony Nwakaeme into the fold of the team.
Nwakaeme who had played for Vejle of Denmark was also a teammate of fellow Super Eagles star, John Ugochukwu Ogu at Hapoel Be’er Sheva of Isreal.
Nwakaeme moves to the Turkish Super Lig club, based in the city of Trabzon, in a fee of one million euro, till June 2020.
The 29-year-old Nwakaeme, who is seen as a strong, all-action and technically sound striker, joined Be’er Sheva in 2015.
The striker, who has been capped once by Nigeria and has previously played in Romania, has rained goals aplenty with Be’er Sheva, in helping the club to be crowned Israeli Premier League champions for the past three seasons.


Stephen Eze (Lokomotiv Plovdiv): The former Kano Pillars defender lasted the duration of his club’s 1-0 win away at Botev Plovdiv.


Godswill Ekpolo (GIF Sundsvall): He was in action when his team suffered a 2-0 reverse at home to Haecken.

Nnamani scores winner for Eskilstuna

Samuel Nnamani was the hero of his Swedish team AFC Eskilstuna on Saturday as he scored the winner in their late 1-0 win over Joekoepings Soedra.
AFC Eskilstuna are third on the league table with 35 points in 19 games.
The 23-year-old, who was a 64th minute substitute for Ousmane Camara, scored in the 90th minute and has now found the back of the net six times in 17 matches.
He previously played for Jagodina, Doritos Srem and Sloboda Uzice(All in Serbia).

Ayagwa completes Lillestrom switch

Plateau United midfielder, Raphael Ayagwa has completed his transfer to Norwegian club, Lillestrom.
The 20-year-old joined the club on a four-year deal.
In his first interview as a Lillestrom player, Ayagwa told the club’s website: “It feels good to be here and the club feels like a big family. I had to wait a little for my visa in Nigeria, but now I’m finally here.
“And everything works very well. Mathew came to the hotel and welcomed me today early. I really appreciated that.
“My ambition is to play with the big guys in Europe,” he concluded.
Flying Eagles forward secures Sogndal loan
Highly-rated U-20 forward, Akor Jerome Adams has completed a transfer to Sogndal Fotball.
Akor is joining Sogndal Football on an 11 months loan deal from Jamba Football Academy, and the agreement between the Scandinavian and Nigerian teams will run out on July 31, 2019.
The 18-year-old striker impressed manager Eirik Bakke in two trial periods with the club, first in March, then this summer.
Commenting in his transfer, Akor told Sogndal Football’s official webpage: ” I am very pleased to be here in Sogndal. Now, I have to work hard. I’m going to work hard for the team, play matches and move on.”
Sogndal’s Director of Football, Havard Flo added: ”this is a very exciting signing. Jerome is a great boy who has been good in the group, and I hope to develop him as a football player.
”Akor is a powerful player with good physiques and he has good finishing skills.”
The brand new Sogndal Fotball number 28 joins Nigeria international right-back Akeem Latifu in Sogn og Fjordane.

Obinna shows up in Belgrade

Serbian club, Partizan Belgrade is holding talks with Super Eagles outcast, Victor Obinna, who was a few months ago released by Cape Town City of South Africa.
The 31-year-old who is a free agent has played for Chievo, Inter Milan, Malaga and West Ham Utd.

Chrisantus Macauley and Faith Friday Obilor (HJK): Obilor was an unused substitute while Chrisantus lasted the duration of their team’s goalless draw at home to PS Kemi.

Mikel’s future at Chinese club, bleak

Tianjin Teda midfielder, John Mikel Obi faces a bleak future after his coach, Uli Stielike confirmed the Super Eagkles captain as second best to new Brazilian star, Jonathan.
The coach hinted that any chance of Mikel playing in the team depend on Jonathan’s availability and fitness.
Stielike however ruled out any chance of Mikel leaving before the expiration of his contract at the end of this season.
According to him, the former Chelsea midfielder lost his spot in his Tianjin-based side’s starting line-up after recovering from a knee injury.
Stielike has also been constrained by CLS rules on foreign player quotas for each match, such that he picked Ghana’s Acheampong and German ace, Bastians alongside Jonathan as the three foreigners in the squad.

East Bengal signs Kano Pillars forward

East Bengal shock the Indian transfer market by signing Super Eagles fringe player, Mohammad Gambo.
Gambo represented the Eagles in seven matches and scored once.
The 30-year-old has scored as many as 70 goals in 200 club appearances in Nigerian Premier League and was also a part of Nigeria’s 2013 FIFA Confederation Cup squad.
Gambo lead the attack of Kano Pillars from 2006 and has since been a sensation for the club with his goals.
He was one of the eight home-based players selected by coach Stephen Keshi for the 2013 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
On 6 July 2013, Gambo got his first international goal when he scored for Nigeria’s B team in the CAF CHAN qualifier against Côte d’Ivoire at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna.

Plateau Utd agrees Odah’s loan move

Domestic league Champions, Plateau Utd has agreed a season-loan deal for goalkeeper Okiemute Odah to Jedda FC in Saudi Arabia.
“I am only waiting for my release letter from Plateau United, hopefully I will be unveiled on Monday.
“My new club has met the financial demands of Plateau United and we are just waiting for other formalities to be completed,” Odah disclosed.
The experienced goalkeeper has been with the second-tier Saudi club for about a month during which he was involved in pre-season training with them in Egypt.
“It has been a splendid time here in Saudi Arabia for me and I am now looking ahead to the new season,” he said.

Etor off to winning start

Daniel Etor and Al Nasr SC of Oman have got their season off to a flying start following an emphatic 3-0 victory away at Al Rustaq on the opening day of the season.
The Oman Premier League last season’s best foreign player Etor described the win as a sweet victory for my team and a great way to start the season.
He said this was a better team than last season and the first three points on the road will lift the team’s confidence.
However, the former Enyimba winger was disappointed he did not finish the match due to an injury he suffered and he is now set to miss Al Nasr SC next game on August 25 as he is not expected to recover before then.


Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa Utd): The former Heartland keeper was in goal for 90mins as his team drew 2-2 with Black Leopards.


Former U-23 midfielder, Okechukwu Azubuike has signed for Egyptian team Pyramids FC from Turkish Super Lig side, Yeni Malatyaspor for a €2m.
The 21-year-old and former Bayelsa utd showed top potential in three seasons campaign in the Turkish League helping his club gain promotion to the Super Lig two seasons ago.
Chikatara pens El Gouma deal
Former CHAN Eagles striker, Chisom Elvis Chikatara has joined newly promoted Egyptian Premier League side, Nady EL Gouna from Wydad Casablanca of Morocco.
Chikatara signed who signed for two years became the club’s 19th summer signing.
The player managed just two goals in 19 games for Wydad.

Wydad Casablanca signs Okechukwu

CAF Champions League holders, Wydad Casablanca has signed Gabriel Okechukwu on a four-year contract, after a lengthy trial.
The 22-year-old is coming from Akwa United and participated in the African Nations Championship this year.
The player who is expected to earn $300000-a-year at the Moroccan club has played for Karpaty Lyiv FC of Ukraine.
He will link up with compatriot Michael Babatunde, who joined the club from SC Qatar two months ago.
His transfer was confirmed by his agent Nureni Makanjuola who said: “Okechukwu has signed a lucrative deal with Wydad Casablanca and he will join the team after their CAF Champions League clash with Mamelodi Sundowns this Friday.”
Gabriel Okechukwu was part of the silver medal winning Super Eagles B squad at this year’s African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco.
He scored twice (Sudan and Angola) during the tournament and has made a total of four appearances for the team.

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