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Turkey: New Mecca of Nigerian footballers

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Turkey: New Mecca of Nigerian footballers

Post  Admin on Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:39 pm

Some of Nigeria's finest footballers are poised to set the Turkish topflight on fire after signing various contracts there in the transfer window, which ended last week, reports 'TANA AIYEJINA

Save for last minute movements of Nigerian players in the English Premier League on deadline day, most of the country's footballers, who moved during the transfer window, headed for Turkey.


England


Winger Victor Moses joined Liverpool on a season long loan deal after he fell down the pecking order in Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side while the Baggies acquired the services of powerful striker, Victor Anichebe, as an obvious replacement for the departed Odemwingie.

Before then, Portugal U-20 international, Tiago Ilori, who has a Nigerian father, also joined Liverpool from Sporting Club de Portugal for £7m.

The English FA quickly took advantage of Ilori's deal with the Reds as they engaged in talks with the central defender to switch nationality from Portuguese and represent England at senior national level because he was "born in England and has a father of English nationality."

Last month, Manchester City defender, Reece Wabara, an English youth international with a Nigerian father, joined Doncaster Rovers in the English Championship on a month loan deal but after an impressive first month, Wabara extended his loan move until January 2014.


Last edited by Admin on Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:42 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Turkey: New Mecca of Nigerian footballers

Post  Admin on Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:40 pm

Turkey

But it is obvious that Turkey has become favourite field for Nigeria's foreign legion of footballers, just like Belgium and Holland used to be in time past.

Former Nigerian stars Austin Okocha (Fenerbahce), Uche Okechukwu (Fenerbahce) and Daniel Amokachi (Besiktas) first dazzled in the European country in their days.

The likes of Edema Fuludu, Monday Agbontaen and the late Thompson Oliha also made name while playing there.

However, the success of Fenerbahce defender Joseph Yobo- two Turkish Cup and one Super Cup- and other Nigerian players last season may have attracted some of the country's finest to Turkey this season.

Yobo was on loan with the Turkish giants from Everton in 2010 but the deal was made permanent in 2012.

Kalu Uche, who joined Kasimpasa from Spanish side Espanyol last season, ended his first term as second highest goal scorer in Turkey's topflight with 19 goals.

Eagles central defender, Godfrey Oboabona, joined Uche Kalu at Rizespor from Sunshine Stars while striker, Emmanuel Emenike reunited with his national team captain, Yobo, in Fenerbahce, in a deal worth ‚¬13m.

Taye Taiwo has also relocated to Turkey. He joined Bursaspor on a three-year deal from Dynamo Kiev. The 28-year-old former AC Milan left-back scored on his Bursaspor debut, in a 2-2 draw against Vojvodina in the first leg of their Europa League third qualifying tie.

Former Portsmouth man, John Utaka, has been given the number 99 jersey at Sivasspor, Michael Eneramo's former club. Utaka, who helped Montpellier to their first ever Ligue 1 title two seasons ago, joined from the French club on a two-year deal.

Eneramo has signed a lucrative two-year deal with Besiktas. The powerful former Esperance forward will earn ‚¬1.2m ( N256m) per-season in addition to a ‚¬10,000 (N2m) per-match bonus.

In addition, he will earn the same salary in 2014/15 and 2015/16, if selected for the squad over 30 times over the course of each season.

Eneramo joined Sivasspor in January 2011 on a one-and-a-half-year deal and scored 34 times in 91 appearances for the Turkish Super Lig outfit.

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Re: Turkey: New Mecca of Nigerian footballers

Post  Admin on Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:40 pm

Another player, who has secured a deal in the Turkish topflight, is former Flying Eagles forward, Aminu Umar. The big striker joins Ekigho Ehiosun at Samsunspor.

Werder Bremen's Joseph Akpala has moved to second-place Karabükspor on a season long loan deal. The transfer window in Turkey remained open despite it being shut on Monday in several parts of Europe.

The 27-year-old, who has found playing time difficult at Bremen, passed the medical examination conducted on Tuesday and met his new teammates for the first time on Thursday during training.

Several other of the country's players have equally signed for clubs in the lower divisions in Turkey.

Former Nigerian footballers have expressed different opinions on the players' new found love for Turkey.

Retired midfielder Mutiu Adepoju, who played majority of his career in the Spanish La Liga, believes playing regular football is the ultimate for every footballer, even though he admits that it would be good to see Nigerian players spread across Europe's top leagues.

"It's good for our players to be playing week-in-week-out than warming the bench in the top leagues. Even though I would like to see our players in Germany, England, Spain and Italy, Turkey is not a bad league either," says Adepolju, who played for Turkish side, Samsunspor, during his playing days.

The 1994 Africa Cup of Nations winner believes the players have what it takes to compete in the major leagues.

He adds, "The more we have our players playing in big clubs, the better for us. Our players have proven themselves in the big clubs. We saw how Mikel Obi and Victor Moses helped Chelsea win the Europa Cup last season.

"Unfortunately, a new coach came in and Moses had to leave for Liverpool, which is also a big team. He will prepare well there hopefully ahead of the 2014 World Cup. We also have Ogenyi Onazi doing well in Italy with Lazio. So, we've got guys who can compete among the best."

Another ex-Super Eagles player, Taribo West, feels the new trend may be due to economic reasons, saying the Turkish league has offered lucrative contracts to foreigners lately, in an attempt to become one of the best in Europe.

The former Inter Milan and AC Milan centre-back says, "The Turkish league is becoming very strong. Big stars like Didier Drogba, Dirk Kuyt, Wesley Sneijder, Raul Mereiles and a lot of Brazilian players are now playing there.

"So, it's becoming very tough and competitive. I won't be surprised if a club from there wins the Champions League in the next few years. I believe the move will pay off for Nigerian players later; it's a positive move."


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Re: Turkey: New Mecca of Nigerian footballers

Post  Admin on Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:41 pm

Hardworking and creative midfielder, Joel Obi, will be hoping his career makes a positive turn after he moved on the last day of transfer deadline, from Inter Milan to Parma on a season long loan.

The 22-year-old player's career was blighted by injuries, which caused him his place in the Super Eagles. He is the only major transfer by a Nigerian player in the Serie A.

Flying Eagles midfielder Abduljeleel Ajagun was unveiled as a Panathinaikos player last week. The former Dolphins player signed a four-year contract.

Centre-back Dele Adeleye has been snapped by big spending Anzhi Makhachkala from Kuban Krasnodar while widely travelled Onome Sodje teamed up with newly promoted Albanian Super League club Partizani Tirana on undisclosed terms.

The 25-year- old was offered a contract after he impressed manager Hasan Lika during trials. The lively player will link up with two Nigerian players at Tirana; Felix Udoh and Oladele Oshobe.

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Re: Turkey: New Mecca of Nigerian footballers

Post  Admin on Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:41 pm


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