Monday, October 01, 2012

NPL's 15 big transfer targets

Gomo Onduku

Coaches and players are beginning to seek moves within the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) ahead of the 2012/2013 campaign as clubs bolster their playing and coaching personnel.

With speculation rife on movement in the Nigerian top flight, lift the lid on players likely to dump their teams for new ones within the league.

ThankGod Ike (Warri Wolves)
The Wolves' centre-half commands a hefty wage and was one of top performers last term. The lure of continental club football is the only option for Ike to leave Wolves, which had their worst seasons in three years. Three clubs are on alert including his old team, Heartland but a move back to Owerri might be scuppered owing to wage issue.
Likely destination: Enugu Rangers, Kano Pillars, Heartland

Morenikeji Akanbi (3SC)
This petite forward was a bit-player with 3SC last season. Akanbi has been linked with a handful of clubs abroad but there are two likely destination waiting for him in Uyo and Ilorin. The striker is only keen on moving to a club that would guarantee him first-team football.
Likely destination: Akwa United, Kwara United

Sibi Gwar (Niger Tornadoes)
He finished as the Premier League's leading scorer last term with 16 goals. In the last two seasons, Gwar scored 26 goals in about 50 appearances at Niger Tornadoes. But the former Ebonyi Angels forward wants to move abroad in spite of huge interest from four NPL clubs. He will be honoured at the 2012 League Bloggers Awards (LBA) in Lagos in October.
Likely destination: Enyimba, Kano Pillars, Enugu Rangers, Kwara United

Abdulrahman Bashir (ABS)
ABS' leading scorer in the last campaign remains an interest for Kano Pillars' head coach, Baba Ganaru. Bashir, valued around or more than $100,000 (about N16 million), could be a difficult pursuit for his suitors in the top flight. A loan move is, however, a possibility to Pillars, as they prepare for the 2013 Caf Champions League.
Likely destination: Kano Pillars

Bright Esieme (ABS)
A promising right wing back signed from Abia Warriors by ABS can also play in the heart of midfield. The player will definitely favour a move up north where Kano Pillars will offer a chance of winning silverware, an improved wage and featuring in the Caf Champions League next year. Esieme has been nominated for the Rookie of the Year by the LBA.
Likely destination: Kano Pillars

Tony Okpotu (Lobi Stars)
The striker, just called into Nigeria's Super Eagles for the Afcon game against Liberia, is being pencilled down as a possible addition to Kano Pillars' forward line with Gambo Mohammed likely to leave in January. Last term he scored seven goals for Lobi and can also play as a wide man.
Likely destination: Kano Pillars

Pierre Coly (Sharks)
This 27-year-old Senegalese centre-back is one of several players being watched by Enugu Rangers to fill the void in the heart of their defence after James Okwuosa left for South Africa's Chippa United. He joined the Blue Angels this year from Senegalese club, Casa Sport. Coly is one of five players standing for the Best Foreigner gong of the LBA.
Likely destination: Enugu Rangers

Gomo Onduku (Sharks)
He chalked up the LBA Player of April 2012 on the back of a superb performance for the Blue Angels last season. Onduku has also impressed PSL side, SuperSport United, now keen on signing him. But back home, he is not short of suitors with three clubs looking to sign one of the most impressive wingers of last season.
Likely destination: Kano Pillars, 3SC, Enugu Rangers

Andrew Abalogu (ABS FC)
This former Abia Warriors' striker was one of the most underrated players in the top flight last term. But after a decent return of nine goals, four top NPL sides including former African champions, Enyimba and Cup holders, Heartland want him. Abalogu has also been nominated for LBA's Rookie of the Year.
Likely destination: Heartland, Enyimba, Enugu Rangers, Lobi Stars

Isiaka Olawale (Dolphins)
The captain of Nigeria's Super Sand Eagles is being linked with a return to his hometown. After a one-season spell at Dolphins, where he did not enjoy first-team football, Kwara United are ready to offer him a deal and regular football.
Likely destination: Kwara United

Femi Thomas (Akwa United)
His superb style and display with The Promise Keepers in the 2011/2012 season did not go unnoticed as he will stand for the LBA Best Goalkeeper of the Season. Newly-promoted NPL club, Nasarawa United are one of the sides looking in the direction of their former goalkeeper.
Likely destination: Kano Pillars, Lobi Stars, Nasarawa United

Victor Ezeji (Sharks)
Undoubtedly one of the most capped players in the Premier League era in Nigeria. He has been in the system for 15 years and no wonder he has been named the LBA Ambassador and also Okey Emordi wants him at Enugu Rangers.
Likely destination: Enugu Rangers

Ousmane Pape Sane (Sharks)
He is one of the two Senegalese centre-halves at Sharks and impressed last term. Sane, who has been nominated for the LBA Best Foreigner, remains a long-term target of Coal City club, Rangers.
Likely destination: Enugu Rangers

Gbolahan Salami (Enyimba)
His disciplinary record has been his Achilles heel over the years. A very talented winger-cum-striker and after starting last season well at the People's Elephant, Salami just disappeared off the radar. But now he's being linked with a return to former club, 3SC after failed attempts to move abroad.
Likely destination: 3SC

Jonah Abutu (Lobi Stars)
Abutu played a key role in Lobi Stars' title challenge last term, which led to winning a place to the 2013 Caf Confederation Cup. The former Bayelsa United man is hot on the list of the two Port Harcourt clubs but a move to Rangers also looms.
Likely destination: Enugu Rangers, Sharks, Dolphins

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