It is no longer news that the Super Eagles of Nigeria is among the strong football nations not participating in the ongoing AFCON 2017 in Gabon. So in what looks like a move to rediscover their form or rather fill their pockets, here is a list of Nigeria players who made a move this January Winter Transfer window (JWTW).
Starting in no particular order;
1) Ezekiel Bassey
Although the money he will be paid per week involved in this deal is yet to be disclosed, for a player from a local Nigeria league club (Enyimba) to the best club in the world Barcelona (albeit playing in the La Masia) would be the biggest dream of any player currently playing in Nigeria and the shores of Africa as a whole.
Ezekiel Bassey’s arrival is the second signing of Barcelona on deadline day on loan from Nigerian side Enyimba International until the end of the season.
Bassey, who primarily plays as a winger, follows Uruguayan defender Santiago Bueno in at Camp Nou and both will form part of the promotion chasing Barca B squad.
The Catalan club also revealed that they have an option to sign the 20-year-old in the summer if he impresses in Gerard Lopez’s team.
Bassey was spotted by Barcelona while on a tour of Spain with the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) All-Star team last August after analyzing videos of his previous games provided by former Nigeria international Haruna Babangida, who spent seven years with the club between 1997 and 2004.
Bassey becomes the fourth Nigerian to play for Barcelona, joining a very short list headed by Emmanuel Amunike, Gbenga Okunowo and Babangida.
2) Aaron Olanare Samuel
Considered to be one of the brightest stars for the future Nigerian Football, the 22-year-old Nigeria striker Aaron Samuel has signed a permanent four-and-half year deal with Russia’s CSKA Moscow from Chinese side Guangzhou. On 17 February 2016, CSKA Moscow announced the signing of Olanare on loan from Guangzhou R&F for the remainder of 2015–16 season.
3) Odion Ighalo
The 27-year-old striker completed his £20million move to Chinese Super League club Changchun Yatai from Watford yesterday – and revealed it was God that stopped him moving a year ago. The Nigerian international was offered £300,000-a-week from Hebei China Fortune but opted to stay at Watford after netting 16 goals in his debut season.
After starting his career at Prime and Julius Berger, he moved to Norway’s Lyn in 2007. Ighalo be the second Super Eagles player to move to China in the 2017 January transfer window following captain Mikel Obi’s move to . He is expected to earn close to £200,000 per week at his new club more than Mikel Obi.
4) John Mikel Obi
After spending ten remarkable seasons at Chelsea FC, 29-year-old Mikel was called many things by Chelsea fans during his decade at Stamford Bridge… many of which are far too rude for us to repeat.
But finally he did left the blues to join Chinese club Tianjin TEDA on 6 January 2017 signed by free transfer but he is to earn £140,000 per week. He was born John Michael Nchekwube Obinna – ‘Mikel’ only became a thing when the Nigerian FA mistakenly used Mikel instead of Michael on his submission form for the 2003 FIFA Under-17 World Championships (in case you never know).
5) Onyinye Wilfred Ndidi
The 20-year-old former Flying Eagles midfielder agreed and completed a £17 million transfer deal from Belgian Pro League club Genk to English champions Leicester City. The deal was confirmed on 5 January 2017.
6) Nosa Igiebor
Super Eagles midfielder Nosa Igiebor joined Turkish side Caykur Rizespor on loan deal from Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv where he is expected to team up with fellow AFCON 2013 winner Godfrey Obaboana who currently plays, with the Turkish side having the option of signing him on a permanent deal at the en of the season in summer.
Igiebor will reportedly cost Rizespor around 1.5 million Euros, if they want to turn his loan deal into a permanent one in the summer and he will be the second Nigerian to join the club this January with Bright Edomwonyi moving from Sturm Graz to the modest Turkish side, bringing to three the number of Nigerians at the club.