Eagles Watch

Osimhen, Simon, Dessers, Nwakeme on target

…as Aina, Omeruo, Balogun lose out

It was a special weekend in Europe, especially in England where clubsides were given ‘rest’. However, some Super Eagles players were among the goals. The usual suspects, Victor Osimhen, Nwakeme and Moses Simon were their usual self helping their clubsides with goals. While the trouble with Samuel Kalu and Bordeaux continues. It was however, not good news for the likes of Ola Aina, Kenneth Omeruo, Leon Balogun, who ended on the losing sides.
MIKE ADEYEMI, is yet again traverse the length and breadth of Europe’s top leagues to bring you comprehensive reports of super Eagles players and those hoping to join the train in representing the three times Africa champions. Enjoy it.

Alex Iwobi (Everton vs Crystal Palace): Iwobi on the bench for the entirety of the match as Everton over ran their visitors 3-1 in one of the weekend matches.
Isaac Success (Brighton vs Watford): Success was not part of the travelling party when his team shared the spoils with Brighton, playing out 1-1 draw.
Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City): Ndidi feels ‘really sad’ watching team from sidelines
Wilfred Ndidi feels “really sad” watching Leicester City from the sidelines but knows he is making improvements even when he’s injured.
Ndidi missed three straight games in January with a knee injury – the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Aston Villa and the Premier League losses to Southampton and Burnley – before a recurrence of the pain ruled him out of last Saturday’s draw with Chelsea.
City’s failure to win any of the four games without Ndidi is not a surprise, with the Nigerian a key cog in Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Watching from the stands was not an enjoyable experience for the 23-year-old, but he said the wider view of the game it affords means he is still learning even when he’s not playing.
“For me, it was sad because I was not in the squad,” Ndidi said of his initial spell out.
“I was really sad because it’s a very different feeling, watching from the outside instead of playing.
“Sometimes when you watch the game from the outside you see things better than when you’re playing because you’re not in the situations. But it was still sad for me.
“We lost points in some games but I still think we did well. The guys that came into the team played well. Sometimes it just isn’t your day.”

Wigan Athletic reveal Balogun’s Jersey Number
Super Eagles defender Leon Balogun has been handed number 37 by Championship club Wigan Athletic.
Wigan made the announcement on their official website.
Balogun joined Wigan on loan on deadline day from Premier League club Brighton and Hove Albion after struggling for game time.
He only made two appearances for Brighton this season which were in the Emirates FA Cup and the Carabao Cup.
Wigan are currently in the relegation zone on 22nd position in the 24-team league table, two points away from safety.

Eberechi Eze, Osayi-Samuel and Aramide Oteh (Huddersfield Town vs Queens Park Rangers): The trio of Super Eagles hopefuls, Eze, Osayi-Samuel and Oteh were on the losing side when their team QPR lost 2-0 away to Huddersfield Town at the weekend. Eze was on for 90mins while Aramide replaced Osayi-Samuel in the 87mins.

Samuel Chukwueze (Real Valladolid vs Villarreal): The Nigeria enterprising winger was his usual self but his efforts was unable to help his club, Villarreal emerge champions as they share the spoils with their host. The match ended 1-1 apiece. Meanwhile, Samuel was substituted in the 72mins.
Ramon Azeez (Atletico Madrid vs Granada): Ramon Azeez, the Eagles mercurial midfielder was on till the end of the match but ended on the losing side when Atletico edged Granada 1-0.
Oghenekaro Etebo (Getafe vs Valencia): Getafe continued their brilliant run this season with another empathic victory over Valencia but without their Nigerian import, who has been missing for two consecutive games.
Kenneth Omeruo and Chidozie Awaziem (Levante vs Leganes): Omeruo, lasted for 75mins when his team was beaten 2-0 away to Levante, thus failing to build on their last performance. He was however cautioned in the 23mins. His compatriot, Awaziem, was however part of the travelling party.

Ola Aina (Torino vs Sampdoria): Aina was yet again on the losing side when his club was beaten at home by visiting Sampdoria 1-3. The player lasted the entire duration of the match.
William Troost-Ekong and Stefano Okaka (Brescia vs Udinese): The Eagles central defender put up a solid performance when his team drew away to Brescia. The match ended one goal apiece. He played 90mins. His compatriot, Italian-born striker, Stefano Okaka also played for 90mins in the encounter.
Simy Nwankwo (Crotone vs Cremonese): Simy Nwankwo bagged the winning goal for Crotone who edged out Cremonese 1-0 at the Stadio Ezio Scida.
Nwankwo scored the decisive goal three minutes from time.

Moses Simon (Djion vs Nantes): Simon on target again, injured in Nantes’ draw at Dijon
Moses Simon continued his impressive form in front of goal as he scored on Nantes’ 3-3 away draw at Dijon, in Saturday’s Ligue 1 clash.
Simon scored in the 20th minute to draw Nantes level after they went behind on 15 minutes.
It was Simon’s third goal in his last three league games for Nantes.
Unfortunately, he was replaced in the 43rd minute by Abdoulaye Toure due to injury.
The draw saw Nantes occupy 12th position on 33 points in the league table.
Meanwhile, Nantes manager Christian Gourcuff wants Moses Simon to remain at the club beyond his loan spell.
Moses, who is on loan at the club from Spanish outfit, Levante has scored eight goals and recorded eight assists in 25 appearances across all competitions this season.
Nantes have the option to make the deal permanent and Gourcuff is keen to see the Nigerian forward stay at the club on a permanent basis.
“I’m not going to stop singing his praise because we’re going to end up taking him away, he has been a great rookie for the club,” he told the club’s website.
“What follows? There is an option to buy. He has a real margin of progress, it is an option that is going well and that I like very much. On the side, it is also very comfortable.”

…nominated for MOTM Award
Moses Simon has been nominated for Nantes Man of The Match award in their 3-3 away draw at Dijon, in Ligue 1 on Saturday.
Simon was on target again as he drew Nantes level in the 20th minute after they went behind five minutes earlier.
It was his fifth goal in 22 league appearances for Nantes in the current campaign.
He is up against teammates, Andrei Girotto and Kader Bamba.
On Wednesday, Simon was voted Nantes Man of The Match, in their 2-1 home loss to Paris Saint-Germain.
He scored his side’s goal in the defeat to the French reigning champions.

…Newcastle United keeping tabs on Eagles winger
Newcastle United are among the teams reportedly keeping tabs on Nigeria international Moses Simon with a view to a summer transfer.
Eurosport France journalist Manu Lojon has claimed that The Magpies, Lyon and Hertha Berlin have regularly scouted the Levante loanee this season.
That said, Nantes, where he is currently on loan, have the right of first refusal on Simon, with a purchase option included in the deal taking him to The Canaries last summer.
Nantes are planning to exercise the purchase option in the deal which is set at five million euros following a successful loan spell.
In 25 outings for Nantes across all competitions Simon has tallied eight goals while producing eight assists.

Victor Osimhen (Angers vs Lille): Osimhen on target in Lille’s away win
Victor Osimhen was on target as Lille recorded a 2-0 away win against Angers in their French Ligue 1 clash at the Stade Raymond- Kopa on Friday night.
Osimhen opened scoring for Lille in the 14th minute after he was set up Jonathan Bamba.
The 21-year-old has now scored 12 goals and recorded four assists in 23 league appearances for Les Dogues this season.
Osimhen was replaced by Nico Gaitan 10 minutes from time.
Renato Sanches doubled the visitors’ advantage 15 minutes from time following an assist by substitute Luis Araujo.
Lille maintained fourth spot in the table with 40 points from 24 matches.
Christophe Galtier’s men will host Olympic Marseille in their league game on Sunday, February 16.
Samuel Kalu and Josh Maja (Metz vs Bordeaux): The relationship between Samuel Kalu and Bordeaux head coach continued to deteriorate as he was again not listed in their 2-1 away victory over Metz at the weekend. His team mate and co-Eagles striker, Josh Maja was not listed either.

Dessers bags brace as Heracles Beat Fortuna Sittard; End Winless Run
Belgian-born Nigerian striker Cyriel Dessers scored two goals for Heracles Almelo who defeated visiting Fortuna Sittard 2-0 in Friday’s Eredivisie clash.
The win saw Heracles return to winning ways after losing their last three league games and also their last four games in all competitions.
Dessers opened scoring in the 33rd minute when he converted from the penalty spot.
He then made sure of the points when he doubled his side’s lead in the 70th minute.
Heracles now occupies 8th position on 29 points in the 18-team league table.

…denied Hat-trick
Cyriel Dessers was angry to see his goal disallowed by referee Bjorn Kuipers during the 2-0 win over Fortuna Sittard at Stadion Erve Asito.
The Super Eagles hopeful thought he had given Heracles a 3-0 lead in injury time but the goal was not given, thus denying him his second hat-trick of the season.
Citing Nederlandse Omroep Stichting, FC Update quoted Dessers as saying after the game: “I wanted another one. That makes sense, right?”
“If you can score one as a striker at the end, you can take that ball home with you. Anyway, after twenty seconds it will end, and you will be happy with the two goals and the victory.”
With 14 goals from 22 appearances, Dessers is the highest goalscorer in the Dutch top-flight, ahead of AZ’s Myron Boadu who has tallied 13 goals.
“Today it wasn’t easy either, few opportunities, but still nice to make two,” he concluded.
Dessers have contributed to 23 goals (17 goals, 6 assists) in all competitions for Heracles Almelo so far this season.

Jamilu Collins (Schalke 04 vs SC Paderborn 07): The Super Eagles left back returned to action after missing out in the last three matches for his club when he played 90mins when his club shared the spoils with Schalke 04 away from home. The match ended one goal apiece.
Karim Onisiwo (Hertha BSC vs Mainz 05): The Austrian born of Nigeria descent was an 81mins substitute and immediately made impact when he assisted the second goal for Mainz 05 who were away at Hertha. The match ended 1-3 in favour of the visitors.
Anthony Ujah (Werder Bremen vs 1. FC Union Berlin): The forgotten Eagles striker was an unused substitute when his Bundesliga new comer defeated Bremen away from home by two goal to nothing.

Anthony Nwakaeme and Mikel Obi (Trabzonspor vs Genclerbirligi): Nigeria forward Anthony Nwakaeme scored for the second consecutive game as Trabzonspor defeated Genclerbirligi 2-0 in a Turkish Super Lig clash at the weekend.
Jose Sosa put Trabzonspor ahead from the spot in the 79th minute, while Nwakaeme added the second seven minutes from time.
The 30-year-old has now scored seven goals in 19 league appearances for his club this season.
His compatriot and former Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi also featured for Trabzonspor in the game.
Mikel, who played the entire duration of the game has made 15 league appearances for the club this season.
Trabzonspor moved to top position in the table following the win.
Kayode Olanrewaju (Besiktas v Gaziantep FK) Olanrewaju was on the losing side when his team lost 3-0 away to the Turkish champions, Besiktas. He lasted 79mins, before he was substituted.

Joe Aribo and Sheyi Ojo (Hamilton vs Rangers): Joe Aribo was on target as Glasgow Rangers booked a place in the quarter-final of the Scottish FA Cup following a 4-1 win against Hamilton Academical at the Fountain of Youth Stadium.
Aribo scored Rangers’ second goal of the game in the 68th minute after he was set up by Ryan Kent. Scott Arfield (brace) and Alfred Morelos scored the other goals for Rangers in the game.
The Nigerian midfielder featured for 90 minutes in the game.
The 23-year-old has now scored seven goals and registered eight assists in 39 games across all competitions for Rangers this season.
Steven Gerrard’s men will face Kilmarnock in their next game on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, his compatriot, Sheyi Ojo was not listed for the match.

…Gerrard thumbs up player’s ‘fantastic’ goal
Glasgow Rangers manager Steven Gerrad has hailed Joe Aribo’s impressive strike in Saturday’s Scottish FA Cup 4-1 away win against Hamilton Academical.
Aribo scored the Gers second goal in the fifth round fixture at the Fountain of Youth Stadium.
The 23-year-old has now scored seven goals and registered eight assists in 39 games across all competitions for Rangers this season.
“I was very, very impressed. The Joe Aribo goal was fantastic with Ryan Kent going on the outside and doing what he does with fantastic skill and an excellent assist, but that is still a tough finish so credit to Joe there,” Gerrard told the club’s official website.
“Alfredo, it was nice to see him back scoring. He has come close in the first half and come close against Aberdeen, but hopefully that goal does him the world of good now and he can push on from there.”

Tosin Aiyegun (FC Zuerich vs FC Basel 1893): Little known Nigerian striker, Tosin Aiyegun was on for 90mins when his team FC Zuerich lost scandalously to the league champions, FC Basel by 4-0 at home.

Samuel Eduok (Hadjuk Split vs Lokomotiva Zagreb) The former domestic league highest goal scorer scored his side’s solitary goal that separated Hadjuk Split and Lokomotiva Zagreb following a 1-0 win for the hosts.

Eaglets captain snubs Club Brugge, Aarhus to join Salzburg
Nigeria U17 captain Samson Tijani has finally has snubbed Belgian side Club Brugge and Danish Superliga team Aarhus to joined FC Red Bull Salzburg on a five-year deal.
Former Golden Eaglets star have been subjected to transfer tussle with big European big sides with the likes of Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Roma.
Tijani finally put an end to speculation over his future as he penned five years deal with Red Bull Salzburg will start running with effect from June 2020 when he would have attained the age of majority, and expires at the end of the 2024-2025 season.
The Golden Eaglets captain and his representatives to agree on a deal with the Austrian giants because of the strong development program for youths.
Tijani will now join fellow African’s namely, Majeed Ashimeru from Ghana, Jérôme Onguéné from Cameroon, Patson Daka and Enock Mwepu from Zambia, Sékou Koïta and Mohamed Camara from Mali and finally, the Nigerian-German striker Karim Adeyemi who are on the book of the club.

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