5 NIGERIAN PLAYERS WHO COULD BENEFIT FROM A JANUARY TRANSFER

With the January transfer window fast approaching, some Nigerian players are in desperate need of a move in a bid to revive their careers, and to boost their hopes of playing for the Super Eagles.

by Atilola Oluseyi Olabanji (4 min read)

The following players should be on the look out for a new club:

5. Henry Onyekuru ( Monaco):

The 22 year old winger has endured a torrid period thus far in Monaco following his well celebrated summer move.

The aspire academy graduate who came to into the limelight in 2017, when he scored 22 goals in the Belgian league for Eupen. Last season he won the Turkish League and Cup double with Galatasaray, scoring 16 goals in 44 appearances.

Following his successes last season, he earned himself a high-profile move to AS Monaco. Onyekuru has struggled this season with the French Ligue one side, making just 4 appearances in all competitions, yet to score, and only registering a single assist so far.

The blistering form of Algerian striker, Islam Slimani, as well as the good performances of Wissam Ben Yedder has kept Onyekuru either on the bench or completely left out of the matchday squad. More so, he has been overlooked by the Super Eagles’ head coach, Gernot Rohr, for his three squads so far this season. With reports of Galatasaray being interested in his services yet again, a loan move to Turkey just might be perfect for the young lad.

4. Taiwo Awoniyi (Mainz):

The Liverpool loanee has struggled for playing time in his return to Germany.

The 22 year old striker, who is currently on his sixth loan spell after signing for Liverpool in 2015 has being restricted to just 2 appearances with the struggling Bundesliga team.

Awoniyi earlier in the summer, claimed he joined Mainz based on the advice of Liverpool manager Jurgen klopp, who assured him of proper monitoring and career growth. His inability to secure a UK work permit also affecting his chances of playing for Liverpool.

Awoniyi scored 10 goals for Royal excel Mouscron in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League last season and is currently doing well with the Olympic Eagles (U23 Nigerian team) at the ongoing under 23 African Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The January transfer window seems to be a good time for him to say “bye bye” to Mainz. Another loan move or even a permanent transfer move could be on the radar.

3. Kelechi Nwakali (Huesca):

This might sound a little controversial considering the fact that he only joined the Spanish second division team this summer after terminating his contract with Arsenal, but Nwakali is yet to make is official debut due to incomplete registrations and other technicalities.

The once “Golden boy” of Nigerian football has struggled since his 2015 move to

Arsenal. Joining FC Porto B last season turned out to be a bad decision, failing to capitalize on the prevous good 2017/2018 season he had with MVV Maastricht in the Dutch second division.

All Nwakali needs, is to play regularly and if Huesca can’t guarantee that for now, a loan move to Beligum or Holland would be perfect for him, The talent is still there all he needs is the platform.

2. Isaac Success (Watford):

Success has been held back by injuries and off field incidents, and the 23 year old striker is yet to justify the £12.5 million fee Watford paid Granada for his services in 2016. He has made just 3 appearances this season, for a total of 35 minutes.

Isaac Success is regarded in some many quarters as a potential Nigerian attacking great and his strong showings at the under 17 & 20 levels cemented his status as one of the most talented young players the country has produced in recent times, but he is unlikely to fulfill his potential if he’s stuck on the bench at Watford.

The sacking of Javi Garcia as Watford coach earlier in the season was a huge blow to chances of returning to the starting lineup.

A return to Spain might just be the perfect move for him.

1. Kelechi iheanacho (Leicester city):

In a Premier League season where Leicester City are currently turning heads and putting in a fantastic performances every week, it is hard to believe that Iheanacho is yet to make an appearance in the league this season. His 3 appearances so far have been in the League Cup, where he has scored two goals.

One major hinderance so far has been his lack of versatility. His inability to play in a different position other than being the main striker has limited his opportunities this season. He currently appears to be the third choice striker, behind Jamie vardy (who is having an excellent season) and Ayoze perez. With Demarai Grey returning to fitness recently, his limited scope for playing has been narrowed even further.

It appears that he and Brendan Rodgers do not retain each other’s trust. In my opinion, Kelechi needs a coach like Manuel Pellegrini who can trust him, and help him to regain his confidence. A loan move to West Ham (or another PL team ) seems to be the only way out.

Who do you think needs to make a move in January ? Leave your thoughts below

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