Less than 48 hours after grabbing the services of Junior Lokosa. Esperance have unveiled the Nigerian an indication that they cannot wait to unleash him against opponents locally and internationally. Lokosa who was looking sharp in his new Jersey appears equally eager to get cracking.
The 25 year old will no doubt be doubling his effort considering that the Esperance have clinched the Tunisian league title a record 28 times and yet eager to add more to their already overflowing trophy cabinet. Esperance are leading the log in the 14-team Tunisian league with 29 points in 12 matches played so far this season.
They will battle FC Platinum of Zimbabwe on Friday in the CAF Champions league group stage tie. A number of soccer fans who have reacted to Lokosa’s move to the North African side described it as a good one predicting that he will fit into the system with ease.
No fewer than a dozen Nigerians have played for the club in the past including former international Julius Aghahowa, Enyimba’s Obinna Nwaneri and Michael Enaramo.
Super Eagles vice-captain, Ahmed Musa has vowed to return stronger from his latest injury setback.
The Al Nassr forward sustained a thigh injury in training and subsequently missed last Thursday’s 2-2 draw against Al Faisaly FC in a Saudi Pro League division clash.
The 26 year old, who was not listed in Tuesday’s Kings Cup of Champions Round of 32 clash against Al-Ansar at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium, took to his Instagram page earlier to express optimism of his quick return from injury.
“Will be back stronger,” Musa wrote alongside a picture he posted via @ahmedmusa718. Since arriving Saudi Arabia from English club, Leicester City, the former CSKA Moscow forward has been a big hit in the oil-rich country.
After enjoying a good outing in 2018, the pacy forward started 2019 on a blazing note, scoring two goals as Al Nassr, romped to a 6-0 win over Al Jndal in one of the King Cup ties on the 3rd of January to take his tally to five for the Riyadh-based outfit.
Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr will be hopeful the team’s assistant captain will shake off the injury on time ahead Nigeria’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying fixture against Seychelles on March 22 and high profile friendly against Egypt three days later.
Al Nassr and Super Eagles winger Ahmed Musa has vowed to return to action stronger following his injury-induced setback. Musa copped a thigh muscle injury during training with Al Nassr which ultimately ruled him out of their 2-2 draw with Joseph Akpala’s AL Faisaly FC last Thursday in a Saudi Pro League division clash.
The 26-year-old took to his Instagram Page to assure that he will be back better. “Will be back stronger,” Musa wrote beneath a picture he posted on posted on his Instagram Page @ahmedmusa718 on Tuesday.
The Super Eagles assistant captain has been directly involved in six league goals (four goals and two assists) in his first five league games in Saudi Arabia, but has managed only one goal in his last nine appearances.
Al Nassr currently second have 34 points from 16 games, three fewer than table-toppers AL Hilal Riyadh. They will face Al-Ansar in the Kings Cup of Champions Round of 32 clash later tonight .
A report in the SportingLife claims that with the lack of form and inactivity of Daniel Akpeyi and Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr is combing Europe for a quality goalkeeper who can provide healthy competition to current number one, Francis Uzoho.
Switzerland based shotstopper Sebastian Osigwe has made himself available for selection and believes he has what it takes to be in the senior national team after his experience with the Flying Eagles during preparation for the 2013 World Cup in Turkey.
The 24-year-old SC Kriens star is arguably Nigeria’s most consistent goalkeeper in Europe with over 100 first team appearances for his Swiss side and craves for a chance with the senior national team after resisting temptation to play for Switzerland.
“I want to give a healthy competition to the first choice goalkeeper Francis Uzoho who I think is a strong young goalkeeper with a very big future,” the Swiss-born Nigerian told SportingLife exclusively from his base in Switzerland.
“I believe a big football country like Nigeria must have at least two or three good goalkeepers in the national team. Nigeria deserves this and I believe it is achievable. We are blessed with so many goalkeeping talents within and outside the country.”
The Super Eagles have qualified for the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations holding 15th June – 13th July in Egypt, and the final Group E match against bottom side Seychelles in Nigeria may afford national team boss, Gernot Rohr the opportunity to extend invitation to the likes of Sebastian Osigwe.
Al Ahly’s Nigerian forward Junior Ajayi has returned to training seven months after he sustained an injury in last season’s CAF Champions League clash against Township Rollers of Botswana. Ajayi featured for 60 minutes in Al Ahly’s test game on Friday. His representative, Haji Gafar, spoke in an interview that the one cap Super Eagles player is expected to play a huge part in club’s campaign this term.
“We thank God for his mercies. Junior Ajayi is back in training, ready for the season, the severity of the injury was not as first feared, but he is back now, and we can hope for the best.” Gafaar said. Ajayi has scored 17 goals and provided 14 assists in 49 Egyptian League appearances. Al Ahly are currently third with 20 points from 14 league games.Al-Ahly’s Uruguayan manager, Martin Lasarte, announced on Monday the team squad that will travel to Algeria to face JS Saoura on Friday at the CAF Champions League group stage. Al-Ahly’s new signing, Hamdy Fathy, appeared in the squad for the first time after Al-Ahly completed the deal with his former club, Enppi, on Sunday.
Sherif Ekramy, Aly Lotfi, Mohamed el-Shenawi, Defenders:
Ali Maaloul, Ayman Ashraf, Mohamed Hany, Karim Nedved, Yasser Ibrahim Midfielders:
Ahmed Hamoudi, Hamdy Fathy, Amr el-Solia, Walid Soliman, Hussein el-Shahat, Ramadan Sobhy, Eslam Mohareb, Nasser Maher, Mohamed Sherif, Mido Gaber Striker:
Al-Ahly opened the group stage with a 2-0 victory over Congo’s Vita Club thanks to Nasser Maher and Ali Maaloul’s goals, while the Algerian team lost their first game 3-0 to Tanzania’s Simba.
Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr has described Bordeaux winger Samuel Kalu as an “amazing player”. The 21-year-old has become one of the breakout stars of the 2018/19 season in France’s Ligue 1, while his sublime goal in a Coup de la Ligue win over Le Havre last week went viral on the internet. Yet Kalu’s value extends beyond his attacking instincts, with Rohr highlighting the player’s technical depth and ability to play to instructions.
The Nigerian national team manager reflected on Kalu’s time with the Super Eagles and stressed that the youngster adds depth because of his versatility. This was best demonstrated in November 2018 when he played as a wingback for Nigeria in their 1-1 draw away to South Africa, a result which secured qualification for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals.
“He’s an amazing player. He’s integrated into my team as if he’s always been there. He has intrinsic qualities – he is fast and has ability to defend. We played 3-5-2 in South Africa where he scored our only goal, while managing to defend very well.He knows how to attack but he never hesitates to fall back to the defence. In the team, he can also play on the left wing when playing 4-2-3-1.” explained the German tactician.
Kalu is set to feature for Nigeria again in March when they play the Seychelles in a dead-rubber 2019 AFCON qualifier and a friendly with Egypt’s Pharaohs.
Former Shooting Stars and Warri Wolves star Gbolahan Salami has joined Saudi Arabian club Al Qaisoma FC on a short-term deal. Salami, 27, who has been capped by the Super Eagles, previously played in Finland and Kazakhstan. His last club was Kazak club Irtysh Pavlodar, who he played for last year. Salami’s new club Al Qaisoma are just above the relegation zone in the Saudi second division.
They are 17th in the 20-team championship with 22 points from 20 matches, just a point ahead of Al Ain, who are in the drop zone. They will certainly need Salami’s goals and drive to stay clear of relegation. Salami started with Sunshine Stars F.C. before moving to Ibadan-based Shooting Stars F.C. in 2010. In 2010, he was suspended by the league for using threatening language after scoring in a league game against his old team. He joined Warri Wolves ahead of the 2014 season, and with ten games left was second in scoring with 13 league goals.In January 2015, Salami transferred to Serbian side Red Star Belgrade by signing a loan deal for remainder of the season, with an option for permanent deal. He returned to Warri less than two months later when Red Star was having financial problems. On 25 January 2018 Salami signed for Irtysh Pavlodar. On 9 August 2018, Salami left Irtysh Pavlodar by mutual consent.
Salami was part of the Nigeria national under-20 football team at the 2009 African Youth Championship. Then, he was part of the Nigeria national under-23 football team during their failed attempt to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.
In January 2014, late coach Stephen Keshi, invited him to be a part of the Nigeria national football team squad for the 2014 African Nations Championship. He scored the only goal for the Home-based Eagles in their opening 2-1 loss to Mali. He was called into the squad for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification and scored a late goal as a substitute against Congo, but Nigeria lost 3-2 at home. His form earned him a start in the next game away to South Africa.
Nigeria international Ola Aina has been named the fastest player in the Italian Serie A at the halfway stage of the season. The official website of the Lega Calcio has published infographics of the first round of the Serie A and the Chelsea loanee reached the highest speed peak calculated over a period of three seconds.
The Nigerian wing-back clocked a top speed of 29.66 kilometres per hour to rank first, while Parma’s Jonathan Biabiany is the fastest over 30 meters at 29.01 km per hour. Though Aina has to improve in the defensive phase, he is considered Nigeria’s best offensive wing-back at the moment and his strengths are his pace and acceleration, which helps him against his opponents. The Chelsea Academy product is good in making short passes and is a good dribbler. Aina was a right winger when he first joined The Blues at U11 level before he was converted into a defender.
Also, Serie A side Torino are reportedly in talks with Premier League giants Chelsea to sign Nigerian defender Ola Aina on a permanent basis in this January transfer window. According to reports in the Italian media, Torino sporting director Gianluca Petrachi is willing to exercise a clause in Aina’s contract that allows them to sign the defender for €10 million. The 22-year-old Super Eagles player has been one of the Blues’ most impressive ‘loanees’ this term, along with fellow Nigerians Kenneth Omeruo and Fikayo Tomori.
As things stand, Aina is set return to Stamford Bridge at the end of the 2018/19 season, though his career would perhaps benefit more from a move to a club where he would see regular first team action. That’s very much the case for him at Torino, where he has recorded 16 Serie A appearances and over 1,000 minutes of playing time this season.
Aina, who was born in London, has been on Chelsea’s books since he was just a boy, but he has made only a handful of first-team appearances for the Blues.
The Super Eagles midfielder Ogenyi Onazi, who had a swollen time in the first standard of the Turkish league, where he was rated one of the best midfielder in the Turkish elite league. No thanks to injury, who truncated the outstanding performance of the AFCON winner 2013. Speaking to the Media, the former U-17 2009 silver medalist winner said: This is life and this is football anything can happen, injuries are challenges attached to football you can’t separate them from football as while.
“The first round in the league was one of my best season ever, i really appreciate God for that, unfortunately along the line i got injured, it’s something that happens in the game, but i know i will be back as soon as possible before the league goes half way by the special grace of God, because i am very positive and also want to prepare for the Nations Cup for my country which is very important”.
“In regards to my injury and it’s effect on team, it was quite difficult for my team, it was like a big blow to them, it may interest you to know that the president of our club was with me, before the surgery and after the surgery as well. He kept on telling how it was going to a bit difficult to cope without my presence in the field of play, but i am really happy this shows that the club and the city appreciates my importance”.
“Though i am not happy because i won’t be starting second round of the season with them but it’s all good. The president have being asking me which players do i likely recommended for signing, which i did recommend two Nigerian players because i know they will leave up to expectations. Talks with the recommended players are on-going to that regards presently”
He concluded by saying “it will be a thing of joy to have my fellow compatriot in the term”.
Super Eagles captain, Mikel Obi recently ended his contract with Tianjin Teda and became a free agent. John Obi Mikel Latest reports have it that the former Chelsea midfielder may not be leaving China any soon, as is being speculated in the transfer market.
According to Sports radio, Brila fm, the mercurial Nigeria international might be remaining in China, at least for the forthcoming season. The radio station reports that Mikel could be on his way to Beijing Sinobo Guoan as the Capital City club are thought to be monitoring his situation and could make a move for the Nigerian after the departure of Catalan midfielder Jonathan Soriano to Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia identifying the Super Eagle as the perfect replacement both in the heart of midfield and to fill their quota of foreign player designations in the CSL.
The Super Eagles captain spent two seasons at Tianjin Teda, giving three assists and scoring three goals from the defensive midfield position.
The 31-year old midfielder had earlier hinted early in 2017 that Tianjin Teda will be his final bus stop in football, if all things go on well with him in China. Mikel signed a three-year deal with the Chinese Super League club currently training in Malaga, Spain after being frozen out at Chelsea, where he spent close to eleven years winning titles.