As expected, it is a busy time in the transfer world as clubs across various leagues in Europe embark on the purchase of players needed to add life to their squads ahead of the 2015/16 season. Involved are Nigerian players plying their trades in different foreign clubs.
In this piece, we focus on the Nigerian exports likely to make moves from one club to another.
John Obi Mikel: The Super Eagles midfielder looks to have come to the end of the road at Chelsea and, with Jose Mourinho believed to be considering replacements, he could be on his way over the coming weeks and months. The Pensioners have been linked with moves for Alex Song and Axel Witsel, and should either player arrive at Stamford Bridge, Mikel would have little option but to seek his future elsewhere. Fenerbahce are understood to be interested, while Al Ain’s Asamoah Gyan expressed his confidence that the Nigerian will move to the United Arab Emirates.
Ogenyi Onazi: His star may have fallen somewhat after a disappointing 12 months for both club and country, but Lazio’s Nigeria midfielder at least retains some high-profile admirers. Previously linked with both Everton and Liverpool, the Mirror understand that the Reds remain keen on the midfield dynamo and may look to move for him this summer. The English tabloid also understands that Tottenham are eyeing Onazi, and could hijack any potential Liverpool bid for the player.
Moses Simon: Another Nigerian player linked with a move to Liverpool is starlet Moses Simon, the man they call the ‘Nigerian Messi’. Few would doubt the prodigy’s talent, but is he ready for such a major move, or would a transfer to a genuine giant see his progress stall? As with Onazi, Spurs are also understood to be keen on the player—according to the Express—although it remains to be seen if either club will make concrete their reported interest.
Emmanuel Emenike: The Super Eagles frontman has been linked with both Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in the past, but his stock has fallen following a poor season. The hitman has also been left out of the national side, and it’s hard to see him having a long-term future at Fenerbahce after a fractious campaign. Reports in Turkey suggest that the striker is nearing a move to Qater, with Umm Salal believed to be keen on acquiring his services.
Imoh Ezekiel: The young striker took himself out of the central narratives of European football when he moved to Qatar, and the player has since admitted that the transfer was motivated by money. He may soon have the opportunity to switch to one of the continent’s giants, with Fenerbahce considering the 21-year-old—who moved on loan to Standard Liege earlier this year—as a potential replacement for Emenike.
Victor Moses: Despite an encouraging start to life at Chelsea—Moses won the Europa League in his first season—the Super Eagle has not featured during the last two campaigns. While a loan move to Liverpool arguably set him back, he appeared reinvigorated at Stoke City…at least before injury struck. The Potters are keen on signing the forward permanently, but they may face competition from Tottenham, with Mauricio Pochettino reportedly an admirer of the former Wigan Athletic man.
Joel Obi: Upon their promotion to Serie A, minnows Carpi set about identifying players who could keep them in the top flight next season. According to Calcio Mercato, they see Inter Milan midfielder Joel Obi as the kind of player who could give them an edge over their inevitable relegation rivals next term. Still only 23, Obi retains untapped potential, but will his injury worries concern the newly-promoted side, who will surely need all hands on deck next term?
Ideye Brown Juwon Oshaniwa: The Nigeria striker may have enjoyed a brief purple patch at West Bromwich Albion following Tony Pulis’s arrival, but a short goal-scoring spell doesn’t hide the fact that his maiden season in England was an overwhelming disaster. He nearly moved away from the Hawthorns in February, and with Demba Ba heavily linked with a switch to the Baggies, don’t be surprised to see Brown end his unhappy stay in the Premier League.
Juwon Oshaniwa: Against a background of incredulity, Juwon Oshaniwa emerged into the national-team picture last season, overcoming a tricky start to excel at the World Cup as a replacement for the injured Elderson Echiejile. He may have suffered relegation with Ashdod this season, but his misfortunes don’t seem to have dissuaded Celtic, with reports in Scotland indicating that the Glasgow giants are closing in on a deal for the full-back.
Victor Anichebe: The Birmingham Mail understand that as well as Ideye Brown, Tony Pulis is also keen to offload Nigeria forward Victor Anichebe this summer. The former Everton man featured 21 times for the Throstles in the Premier League last season, but managed only three goals, and the ex-Stoke City coach clearly sees him as a luxury the club cannot afford. There will surely be interest from the Championship, but who in that division will be able to match Big Vic’s wages?