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7 Nigerian Players Who Could Still Move Before January Transfer Window Closes

7 Nigerian Players Who Could Still Move Before January Transfer Window Closes

The winter transfer window which kicked off on Wednesday, January 1, 2020 is about to come to an end and that will happen on Friday, January 31.

During the current window, a few Nigerian players such as Victor Moses, Henry Onyekuru and Ogenekaro Etebo have found themselves new clubs albeit on loan.

And ahead of the January transfer deadline, a few Nigerian players are still in dire need of a move, having become surplus to requirements at their respective clubs.

Complete Sports’ reporter, OLUYEMI OGUNSEYIN takes a look at seven Nigerian/Super Eagles players who need to join new teams before Friday…

Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England)

Nigerian defender, Leon Balogun’s situation has gone from bad to worse with the German-born player having lost favour under manager, Graham Potter at Premier League strugglers, Brighton & Hove Albion.

Even before Potter came on board, Balogun had also found it very difficult to command a regular starting shirt at the AMEX Stadium but the centre-back at least still made the substitutes’ bench under former gaffer, Chris Hughton.

The 31-year-old is yet to feature in the EPL for Brighton this season with his two appearances coming in the League Cup in August and in the FA Cup earlier this month.

The ex-Mainz centre-half also failed to play an EPL game all through the year 2019. As a matter of fact, Balogun has missed 45 EPL matches in a row, having last played on Boxing Day in the year 2018.

It is, however, surprising to know that Balogun is yet to be linked to a transfer to any club despite his situation at Brighton and failure to move before Friday could lead to his Super Eagles retirement.

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Taiwo Awoniyi (Liverpool, England)

Former Nigeria youth international, Taiwo Awoniyi should be thinking of a transfer to another club where game time is guaranteed so as to save his football career which is stalling.

Awoniyi was supposed to spend the whole of the 2019-20 season on loan at FSV Mainz 05 after sealing a temporary switch to the Bundesliga team from parent club, Liverpool in August 2019.
The striker, however, made only six appearances in the German top-flight without scoring a goal and even rendering an assist for Mainz with his last game on December 7, 2019 before leaving earlier in January.

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Awoniyi initially joined Liverpool in August 2015 having starred for Nigeria in the U-17 World Cup in 2013 and has since enjoyed loan spells with FSV Frankfurt, NEC Nijmegen, Royal Excel Mouscron (twice) and KAA Gent.

The 22-year-old who signed a new long-term contract with the Reds in the summer of 2018 scored 14 goals during the 2018-19 campaign while with Gent and Mouscron and will now look to continue his development elsewhere after failing to do that in the Bundesliga.

Greek giants, Olympiacos, Ligue 1 trio of Montpellier, Brest and Nimes are understood to be monitoring his situation while Turkish outfit, Besiktas and La Liga duo of Leganes and Real Mallorca have also made enquiries.

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Isaac Success (Watford, England)

Former Nigeria youth international, Isaac Success is another player who should be seriously thinking of moving to another club where game time is guaranteed so as to save his football career.

This is simply because the attacker’s situation at Watford appears to be deteriorating with lack of playing time and that has been the case under three managers so far this season.

Under three managers at Vicarage Road so far during the 2019–20 season, Javi Gracia, previous boss, Quique Sanchez Flores and incumbent, Nigel Pearson, Success has failed to get a look-in.

It is so disheartening to note that the 23-year-old who won the FIFA Under-17 World Cup with Nigeria in 2013 has played only 53 Premier League matches with just 11 starts since joining the Hornets in 2016.

The fringe Super Eagles striker has so far made a hugely disappointing four substitute appearances in the EPL this season and six games in all competitions with two League cup assists to his name.

Reports suggest that Cardiff City and Belgian Pro League giants, Anderlecht are very much eager to land Success’ signature on loan until the end of the season.

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Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China)

Odion Ighalo is actually on this list for a likely trnsfer, not because the retired Super Eagles striker has failed to perform for Chinese Super League side, Shanghai Shenhua but in fact, he has been in good form.

Ighalo has been living up to expectations in recent times for his Chinese club and a whole lot of football followers and pundits feel that he is still good enough to shine in Europe.

Also Read – World club Rankings 2019: Nigerian Clubs Out of Top 200; Enugu Rangers Ranked 236th

Manchester United are reportedly considering making a loan move for the former Watford striker as cover for the injured Marcus Rashford due to his Premier League experience.

Ighalo joined the Hornets in 2014, helping them secure promotion to the Premier League in his first season. In his debut campaign in the EPL, the 30-year-old scored 16 goals in 37 outings.
A few other reports have also dropped a strong hint that Watford are also making plans of their own to have Ighalo back at Vicarage Road as early as this month.

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Samuel Chukwueze (Villareal, Spain)

Super Eagles forward, Samuel Chukwueze is another Nigerian player tipped to make a move this month as a result of his fine form for both club and country in recent times.

Liverpool have reignited their interest in signing the Villarreal winger. Despite the arrival of Takumi Minamino earlier this month, Jurgen Klopp wants to strengthen his attack.

Foot Mercato claims Chukwueze has been “promised” a transfer to Premier League club and the Reds could be the side to benefit from the arrival of the 20-year-old.

Chukwueze was one of the breakout stars of LaLiga last season with the winger scoring eight goals in 38 appearances in all competitions in his first season at the top level.

Lyon, Chelsea and Man City have also been linked with the wide man who has previously made no secret of his desire to play in the Premier League after missing out on a move to Arsenal as a teenager.

Chukwueze, who has four goals and three assists this season is understood to have a £53.5million release clause, but the report claims Villarreal will do business for £34m.

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Victor Osimhen (Lille, France)

Nigeria international, Victor Osimhen could make an early departure from French club, Lille this month due to his rich vein of form and if reports are anything to go by, he could move to Spain.

Only recently, reports surfaced that Spanish La Liga club, Sevilla were interested in in landing the signature of the Lille hit-man before the winter transfer window slams shut on January 31, 2020.

Osimhen has been in the form of his life since joining Lille from Sporting Charleroi of Belgium last summer, netting 15 goals and making four assists in 30 games overall.

And as a result, top European clubsides reportedly want the Super Eagles striker this month with Liverpool ready to firm up their interest in him by making an approach.

Other clubs reportedly interested in the 21-year-old are Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Barcelona and even Manchester United.

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Eberechi Eze (QPR, England)

Nigerian youngster, Eberechi Eze could also make a move from Sky Bet Championship side, Queens Park Rangers to a much bigger club in the English Premier League this month.

Eze has netted ten times and weighed in with six more assists in 30 overall appearances for QPR this season and due to his fine form, he is on the radar of some top teams.

Premier League surprise package, Sheffield United are reportedly interested in signing Eze who is also a subject of transfer move by other English top-flight clubs such as Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur.

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