JUST IN: Bassey, Sadiq and Aribo win the transfer window, but Okoye and Awoniyi are the losers
Super Eagles winners and losers of the transfer window
Several Nigerian players changed clubs in the just-concluded transfer window, but not everyone made the right move.
Super Eagles winners and losers of the transfer window
This summer window was no different from other transfer windows, but the spending, especially from Premier League clubs, was at an all-time high.
Several Nigerian stars were involved in some of these deals. From Taiwo Awoniyi to Umar Sadiq, many Super Eagles players were on the move this summer. However, all will eventually work out, which is why Pulse Sports is taking a look at the winners and losers of the transfer window, just for transfers involving Nigerian players.
Bassey is Nigeria’s biggest winner in the transfer window following his move from Rangers to Ajax. It is even more impressive, considering last season was his breakout year.
Although he joined Rangers in 2020, Bassey’s only caught the eye of people last season following his performances in the Europa League.
The Nigerian international was named in the Europa League of the season while he was also brilliant in the Scottish Premiership.
His displays caught the eye of Ajax, who paid €23m to sign the Nigerian as a replacement for Lisandro Martinez for Manchester United. While the Eredivisie may not have the same appeal as any of the top five leagues, Bassey has signed for a historical club in Ajax.
Also, he gets to play in the Champions League, which is the biggest stage for a player in club football.
Another Nigerian international that made a big move this summer is Umar Sadiq. Sadiq was linked with a host of clubs in just-concluded following his performances for Almeria in the last two years, which saw him score 40 league goals.
Villarreal, Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla were some of the clubs linked with Sadiq, but it was Real Sociedad that won the race for his services.
The Basque-based side paid €20m to sign Sadiq on a six-year deal. The Nigerian comes in to replace Alexander Isak, who left for Newcastle.
Sadiq’s move to Sociedad makes perfect sense, as he has a style similar to Isak, the striker he replaced. Also, he gets to showcase his skill in Europe in the Europa League.
Bassey is not the only Nigerian that left Rangers this season, Joe Aribo also left the club. However, unlike Bassey, Aribo moved to the Premier League.
The Nigerian international joined Southampton on a four-year deal and has settled in well. Aribo had three successful years with Rangers and had to leave when the right move came.
While Southampton may not be on the same pedestal as Ajax, the Premier League is every player’s dream and will raise Aribo’s profile.
Although Rangers and Ajax will play in the Champions League, league football is the true test of a player’s development, and there is no better place than the Premier League.
Another Nigerian star who left Rangers this summer is Leon Balogun. Balogun may not have secured glamorous deals like Bassey or Aribo, but it is still nice to see him sign for a club.
The Super Eagles defender left Rangers as a free agent and looked like he would remain clubless until QPR signed him on a one-year deal. The Hoops are in the Skybet Championship, but it is a good one for Balogun, considering he is on his last legs.
Raphael Onyedika was close to leaving FC Midtjylland for AC Milan this summer, but the Rossoneri was priced out of a move.
Nonetheless, the Nigerian international still got a good move after signing for Club Brugge.
The Belgian League is a good bedding place for players that go on to be world-class. It has produced talents like Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku. Onyedika could join this group following his move to Club Brugge.
Given he is only 21, Onyedika will get his bigger move if he delivers consistently for Club Brugge.
Maduka Okoye probably has regrets over his move to Watford. The Nigerian international joined Watford from Sparta Rotterdam this summer, having spent the final half of last season on loan at the Dutch club.
Okoye joined Watford to become the club’s number one, having played as Sparta’s first-choice goalkeeper for two years.
However, the Nigerian lost the battle to become the Hornets’ first choice, with that honour going to Ian Bachmann. It did not stop there, Okoye is also battling Ben Hammer for the second-choice spot. So far, the move to Watford has not worked out.
Putting Taiwo Awoniyi in the losers category may look harsh, but it is what it is. The Nigerian international joined Nottingham Forest from Union Berlin for a club-record fee, but it does not look like the right move for him.
While the Premier League has always been Awoniyi’s dream, Nottingham Forest is not the right club for him. The Tricky Trees are one of the favourites for relegation, which is not what Awoniyi needs in his career.
Unless he has an exceptional season, his time in the Premier League may be short-lived. The Nigerian international has also had a mixed start at the club, although it is still early in the season. But given Forest have made a lot of signings, Awoniyi is in for a massive battle.
Ademola Lookman had a fairly decent spell with Leicester City last season, having joined them on loan from RB Leipzig. However, the Foxes were unable to sign him permanently due to a lack of funds, allowing Atalanta to swoop in for him.
A move to Atalanta looks good on paper, but it all depends on Lookman, who has been inconsistent in the last few years.
After signing Taiwo Awoniyi, Nottingham Forest paid another big money to sign Emmanuel Dennis. Dennis joined Forest following his performance for Watford last season, scoring ten goals and assisting another in his debut Premier League campaign.
Emmanuel Dennis is the second Nigerian to join Nottingham Forest this summer after Taiwo Awoniyi..CONTINUE.YOUR.READING
However, Dennis faces the same issue as Awoniyi, given that Forest will likely be in a relegation battle. But it could work out for him if he repeats last season’s heroics.