Friday, September 14, 2012

NPL topstars in flight

By Ojeikere Aikhoje

It’s the end of the season in Nigeria and time for the business of
players’ transfer.

However, some foreign deals have since been concluded, but
domestic transactions continue.

In this report, highlights players who have exited
the NPL for a new lease of life overseas.

Jude Aneke (Al-Masry/Al-Dakhleya, Egypt)

Nigeria’s all-time top scorer, Jude Aneke, signed a three-year deal with Al-Masry to begin a career abroad.

Aneke had been linked with several teams in Europe before the
interest from Egypt.

Interestingly, Egyptian aristocrats, Al Ahly expressed interest,
but wanted him on trials.

Aneke’s agent insisted his client was unavailable for trials, and Masry made a swift request for his services.

To show their readiness, the contract was sent to Nigeria and
Aneke signed to continue his football abroad.

However, he will start his football in Egypt on loan at another side, Al-Dakhleya due to Masry’s domestic problems and return to Port Said next year.

Izu Azuka (Esperance Sportif, Tunisia)
Azuka’s second coming to the Nigeria Premier League has earned him plaudits.

He’s a brilliant midfielder who added value to Sunshine Stars.

Sunshine Stars benefited from his Champions League experience at
Algeria’s JS Kabylie and Libya’s Al Ittihad.

Interestingly, African champions, Esperance noticed his performance and wasted no time giving him another chance to play club football in North Africa.

James Okwuosa (Ajax CapeTown/Chippa United, South Africa)
Okwuosa is big, strong, reliable defender who knows how to score
goals with his head.

A partnership with Cyril Oriaku has strengthened the defence of
the team.

However, Okwuosa was invited for a test match by Ajax Cape Town
and the rest is history.

Delay in the release of transfer papers cost him a place at Ajax, but he has since been sent on loan to PSL rookies, Chippa United.

Uche Kalu (Çaykur Rizespor, Turkey)
Enyimba star and Nigerian international, Uche Kalu, is one of the
few homeground stars at Enyimba.

Discovered in Aba, the young lad was sent on loan at lower division side, Bussdor, to get playing time and finally returned to take his place at the Aba side.

Kalu, who has been capped by Super Eagles gaffer, Stephen Keshi,
is on a short-term loan at Rizespor.

Chikeluba Ofoedu (Trabzon Karadenizspor Kulubu, Turkey)
The former UNTH striker became an instant hit at Enugu Rangers, which gave him a chance to play Premier League football.

For several weeks, he was the league’s top scorer, but lost his goal scoring form after heading for trials with Rosenborg, in Norway.

He returned to Rangers after failing to get a contract in Norway
and later headed for Turkey.

Aaron Samuel (Valerenga, Norway)
It’s difficult to believe that Samuel, who has since begun his
career in Europe with Norway’s Valerenga was rejected by two top
sides, Dolphins and 3SC.

Dropped by Dolphins at the end of the 2010/2011 season, Samuel
spent a few weeks at 3SC last term, but was dropped for poor performance.

Oghogho Oduokpe (FC Cape Town, South Africa)
Oduokpe, who revived his NPL career at Enugu Rangers after leaving
Warri Wolves is close to a deal at South African lower division side, FC Cape Town.

He scored on the last day of the league to help Rangers claim second position.

John Nnam (FC Cape Town, South Africa
The former Enugu Rangers' defender, who spent the last term with Enyimba, is heading for FC Cape Town.

Nnam is out of contract at Enyimba and might get a deal if he
satisfies, FC Cape Town gaffer, Paul Aigbogun.

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