Sports

Ighalo’s move and other Eagles’ stars transfers

Football transfer season is always interesting in all parts of the world for many reasons. It is a period of stock taking for the clubs to evaluate the players they have and look at areas of weaknesses in the team with a view of addressing the problem areas during the window.

It is a time for the managers of the players to look for better fortunes for them and ensure any movement will be a step up in terms of earnings or a huge career boost depending on the age of the player in question. The teams also have aspirations during the period as scouts will bring their work to bear with the aim of blocking the loopholes identified in the team. The transfer window could be a period of getting to the market to stabilize the team in the middle of the pack or an attempt to avoid the drop. Some teams struggle also to compete or rather win the title.

In other cases, some aspire to win a ticket to compete in various continental competitions like the UEFA Champions League or the Europa League. No doubt, summer period, which is the break of a full European season, is the annual major transfer season but the mid-season transfer window which runs from January 1st to 31st is also essential depending on the situation of the player or team. There are also loan move situations which are aimed at ensuring a player is kept in active competitive state pending the future assessment to reevaluate and determine if such player could return to his original club.

The move of Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina to Juventus is top on the bill in January transfers. It is not usual to have a £63m transfer in midseason for a striker who is currently hot in Serie A with 17 goals. The Serbian is expected to be a big boost to Juventus, the Italian giants currently struggling to maintain pedigree. Ferran Torres moved from Manchester City to Barcelona with a fee of £46m with the hope of boosting the fortunes of Barca in Spain. Barcelona also scooped two players from the EPL –Pierre-Emerick Aubumeyang from Arsenal and Adama Traore from Wolves. Brazilian midfielder, Bruno Guimarães, moved from Lyon to Newcastle for £33m.

He is expected to boost the Magpies under new ownership to at least stabilize them in the middle of the English Premier League table. He is a good passer and dribbler expected to boost the EPL. The move of Luis Díaz from Porto to Liverpool with a fee of £33m is also huge for the Reds as Jurgen Klopp plans to make the team stronger with the highly-rated midfielder. Some Nigerians also moved in January with striker Odion Ighalo leaving Saudi Arabian side Al Shabab for Al Hilal. He explained that he took the decision after the management of Al Shabab stopped him from taking part in the Cameroon 2021 AFCON.

There were other moves like former Nigeria U-23 Skipper, Azubuike Okechukwu, moving on a season-long loan from Turkish topflight outfit, İstanbul Başakşehir, to Yeni Malatyaspor just as Mikel Agu moved from Portugues club Vitória de Guimarães to Fuenlabrada in Spain.

Out-of-club Eagles midfielder, John Ogu, also teamed up with Israeli side, Hapoel Nof Hafalil, on a short-term deal while Ogenyi Onazi, formerly of Lazio, teamed up with Saudi Arabia top flight league giants, Aladalah Club. It is always sad that Nigerian players are not involved in big money moves and they are also not involved in moves to top teams. Moses Simon is the best player in Nantes of France just as Paul Onuachu is the main man for Genk, Belgium, yet their agents are not making things happen for them to move to a big ger club. Wilfred Ndidi is doing great with Leicester but he is yet to get a bigger club in the top teams in Europe.

It was expected that their exploits last season, Ndidi, Onuachu and Simon will move last summer but it never happened. Nigerian players are not doing enough in terms of having the right people to manage their affairs on and off the pitch. It is disturbing that even at their peak, Eagles stars are not getting big money moves or moving to top big teams in Europe. The impact of Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane for Egypt and Senegal was evident at the AFCON in Cameroon. It is heartbreaking that while players were moving to Juventus, Barcelona and Liverpool, top Eagles stars are going to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel. This has to stop.

 

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