Thursday, July 04, 2013

The big transfers of the mid-season


By Ojeikere Aikhoje

We have the legendary Victor Ezeji to thank for ensuring the mid-season transfer was not completed without the movement of big names in the business.

Another big name, Bishop Onyeudo (pictured), added spice to the transfer activity.

Interestingly, there was plenty of wheeling and dealing going on. takes a look at the deals that made the window exciting and those that never happened.

Victor Ezeji (Free Agent to Enyimba)

The league’s most decorated player did not play any part during the first round of the league after his exit from Sharks last term.

For the past two seasons, a move to Enugu Rangers was imminent, but the forward made a surprise return to Enyimba for a second spell.

Back in 2003, he won the domestic league and the Caf Champions League with the Aba side.

Ezeji is a fox-in-the-box with experience to last a life.

Bishop Onyeudo (Gombe United to Enyimba)

Clearly the surprise package of the first round.

Having resurrected his career at Gombe United, Onyeudo wanted money and the former league runners-up could not provide the cash.

At a time, Enugu Rangers were celebrating his return, the forward was busy signing at the Enyimba Stadium, where he appears to have seen more cash.

Enyimba need goals and Onyeudo can do the magic.

Effiom Otu-Bassey (Free Agent to ABS)

Entered the club’s history books as the first player to be sold to a team abroad when he joined Norway’s Lillestrom after trials for €200,000 Euros.

However, he was unable to reproduce the form that made Lillestrom to splash the cash on him.

Otu-Bassey returns to the country and has since retraced his steps to the club that gave him a chance to play top flight football in Nigeria.

Barring injuries, Otu-Bassey will be a good addition to the ABS fight to escape relegation.

But can he reproduce the form that attracted interests from some clubs? Only time will tell.

Eric Frimpong (Frimpong Football Academy to Bayelsa United)

Another brilliant player, who is yet to fully maximise his potentials.

Frimpong, recently cancelled his contract at modest Tunisian side, Club Sportif Hamman-Lif and is on loan from the Minna-based Frimpong Football Academy, owned by his elder brother, Joetex, who won the Caf Champions League and Caf Super Cup with Enyimba.

Bayelsa United gaffer, Isa Ladan Bosso will find him useful as a striker and as a winger on both sides of the flanks.

Uche John (Kaduna United to Kwara United)

Uche John, a goal-scoring defender became an instant hero in the league after scoring his hat-trick against ABS on the last day of the first round.

John will be useful to Samson Unuanel in the defence.

Two that never happened

Bishop Onyeudo (Gombe United to Enugu Rangers)

Onyeudo became an instant star at Gombe United and Rangers lured him to make a return to Enugu.

The deal ended even before it started.

John Lawrence (Lobi Stars to Bayelsa United)

Dropped by Lobi Stars, Lawrence, trained with Bayelsa United and was expected to sign a deal at the club.

How he made the long trip from Yenagoa to Ilorin remains a mystery.


The return of “goalkeeper” Solomon Jabason.

Jabason has returned to Wikki Tourists, where it all started in the lower division.

The midfielder blossomed at the club and made a move to Akwa United, where he made his debut in the elite class in style.

Super Eagles supremo, Stephen Keshi, noticed his form and the lad found his way into the national team.

A needless move to Enugu Rangers made him redundant in the first part of the league.

Jabason’s short time at Rangers reached a pathetic stage when he was dressed as a goalkeeper in a Caf Champions League qualifying match against Burundian side, Vital'O.

Panic buyers (ABS)

ABS are among the bottom four, so they decided the best way to avoid relegation was to ignore the mistakes made by others, and have decided to spend their way out of trouble.

The young side have added eight players: one goalkeeper, two defenders, three midfielders and two strikers.

Two players: Otu-Bassey and Seun Sogbesan, return to club having left for greener pastures.

Others include former Ocean Boys midfielder David Onuado, Ila FC goalkeeper Bode Abdullahi, Bridge Boys FC midfielder Ayo Abdullahi and Wikki Tourists striker Mukthar Saliu.

The list includes Stephen Abandy, a striker and defender Amos Adamu.

Shock deal (Emeka Nwanna)

How time flies? Emeka Nwanna made history as Nigeria’s first N1 million signing when he moved from Enugu Rangers to Enyimba in 2002 and was a member of the evergreen squad that dominated Nigeria and Africa.

Considered surplus at Kwara United, where he spent the second half of last season, Nwanna fondly called “Ayaya” didn’t play for any team during the first round.

Perhaps, he can roll back the years in his second spell at the Aba side. But is he really the solution to Enyimba’s goal crisis?

Goalkeeper crisis

Kwara United gaffer, Samson Unuanel, must have problems in-between the sticks to have signed two new goalkeepers, John Lawrence from Lobi Stars and Ibrahim Wasiu from ABS.

The gist is that former Under-20 goalkeeper, Kazeem Yekeen, has headed for 3SC.

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