With the 2017/2018 season summer transfer window effectively shut on Friday, August 31, Completesportsnigeria. com’s ADEBOYE AMOSU looks at five Nigerian tops players who failed to make career lifeline move away from their current club during the window to boost their chances of playing regular football.
VICTOR MOSES (CHELSEA, ENGLAND)
After spending three consecutive seasons on loan at Liverpool, West Ham United and Stoke City, Victor Moses finally nailed down a starting berth at Chelsea under Antonio Conte albeit in a wing-back position.
But the departure of Conte and the arrival of another Italian, Maurizio Sarri meant the former Nigeria international has moved from a regular player to a squad member.
Sarri said during his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s game against Bournemouth that he sees Moses as winger and challenged the former Wigan star to improve his game. He is now behind the trio of Eden Hazard, Pedro and William in the pecking order at Chelsea.
The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner has made one appearance in three league outings for Chelsea this season, coming on as a second half substitute in the opening day 3-0 away win against Huddersfield.
He didn’t make the match day squad for the game against Newcastle United last Sunday. Maybe a loan move elsewhere would have served him better.
CHIDOZIE AWAZIEM (FC PORTO, PORTUGAL)
The tall centre-back is back with Portuguese giants, FC Porto after spending last season on loan at French side, Nantes.
Awaziem is however yet to make an appearance for Porto since the beginning of the season and will now have to fight to hard to break into the first team following the end of the transfer window.
The 21-year-old joined Porto from Nigeria Professional Football League outfit, El-Kanemi Warriors in 2014 and has made 10 league appearances for Porto since the move.
SIMY NWANKWO (CROTONE, ITALY)
Simeon Nwankwo gained attention towards the end of last season when he scored a beautiful goal for Crotone in a Serie A clash against Juventus.
His impressive form for Crotone towards the end of the campaign also earn him a place in Nigeria’s World Cup team.*
The 26-year-old however failed to rescue Crotone from going down on relegation despite scoring seven goals in 23 league games.
Crotone rejected overtures from a number of top clubs in Italy for his services and he will now have to play in the less glamorous Serie B when a move to a top side would have enhanced his fast rising profile.
ANDERSON ESITI (KAA GENT)
The talented midfielder who has won a handful of caps with the Super Eagles has been frozen out at Belgian club, KAA Gent this season.
Esiti was close to linking up with Spanish side, Levante few days ago, but the deal collapse at the last minute.
With the transfer window over, he will have to fight hard to reclaim his place in the Gent’s team.
He joined Gent from Portuguese club Estoril in 2016.
IKECHUKWU EZENWA (ENYIMBA, NIGERIA)
The Nigeria international may soon find his position in the team on the line due to his inactivity at club level. Ezenwa has struggled to displace Fatau Dauda and Theophilus Afelokhai since his well celebrated move to seven-time Nigeria Professional Football League champions, Enyimba this season.
He is now third choice goalkeeper at the club and having failed to secure a move to an European club, Ezenwa must now work hard to displace his rivals.