The summer transfer window is about to shut, and European clubs have been working hard to bolster their rosters for the 2022–23 campaign.
The 2022 summer transfer window, according to footballtransfers.com, was one of the most significant in history, with Europe’s top clubs spending billions of euros on some of the game’s top players.
There is no evidence to suggest that expenditure at the top level of the game is about to be slashed, with England’s clubs leading the way, despite the financial instability that many teams have encountered due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the long-term ramifications from that.
This transfer window has seen activity from teams like Barcelona, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, and even newly promoted Nottingham Forest.
While some of these clubs have bolstered their teams in an effort to win championships, others are battling to keep their places in the top-tier leagues, while still others have the ambition to compete simply to rub elbows with the big boys.
Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland, Sadio Mane, Gabriel Jesus, and recently acquired United player Antony are just a few examples of players who have all swapped teams in high-profile moves.
Nigerian athletes weren’t left out, though, as Emmanuel Dennis and Taiwo Awoniyi joined Forest in club-record deals while Calvin Bassey joined Ajax as well.
The 22-year-old signed a five-year contract at £18.7 million with the Dutch club, but the total cost could reach £22.7 million with add-ons, making him the most expensive defender in Nigerian history.
Jamilu Collins, Joe Aribo, Raphael Onyedika, Cyriel Dessers, Ademola Lookman, David Okereke, and a number of other Eagles players have all been involved in transfers this summer.
Even though the 2022–23 season has already begun, some Eagles players’ futures are still up in the air as the summer transfer window comes to an end.
Numerous of these Nigerian athletes have been in the news recently as teams try to wrap up business before or on September 1st.
Before the transfer window closes on Thursday night, PUNCH Sports Extra looks at key Eagles players who might leave for another team.
Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
Osimhen is embroiled in the most recent transfer window controversy as it draws to a close, with rumors of a mega-deal including the signing of Osimhen and Cristiano Ronaldo being discussed between Napoli and Manchester United.
The striker has been strongly linked with a move away from the Italian club. He is currently in his third season with Napoli after joining the team from Lille in a record-breaking €81 million deal in 2020.
This transfer window, the 23-year-old drew interest from clubs like Arsenal, Tottenham, and Bayern Munich, but the Red Devils are the only one remaining interested as Napoli is holding out for €120 million for the Nigerian.
Although Osimhen has had a strong start to the season, recording two goals and one assist in three league games for the Partenopei, his future with the Italian team is still in serious doubt as of the transfer window’s closing.
Sadiq Umar (Almeria)
Sadiq Umar, a striker for Almeria, is another Nigerian player who has been making headlines about transfers.
The Nigerian international has emerged as one of the Rojiblancos’ most crucial players over the past two seasons, helping Almeria earn promotion to La Liga after eight seasons as the Segunda Division champions.
Several clubs in Europe are interested in the 25-year-old forward as a result of his strong play, including Villarreal, Getafe, Real Sociedad, and Sevilla.
Although Almeria manager Rubi feels confident in maintaining hold of his talisman, rumors linking him away from the team have persisted, with the most recent report claiming Sociedad are willing to spend big money after the club’s record-breaking transfer of Alexander Isak to Newcastle
Paul Onuachu (Genk)
Since the end of the transfer window last summer, Onuachu’s future has been clouded in uncertainty.
Even though the lanky striker had been the club’s leading scorer for the previous two seasons, Genk remained open to selling the player—but only for the appropriate offer—so the lack of a firm offer has surprised many.
The Nigerian has been linked with moves to Atletico Madrid in Spain, Ajax, and most recently Club Brugge. He won Belgium’s Best African Player or Player of African Descent, Belgian Professional Footballer of the Year, and Top Scorer accolades for the 2020–21 season.
While the Super Eagles attacker is not short of suitors and has stated his willingness to leave the Smurfs should the opportunity arise, the club’s demand of €18m for the 28-year-old has been the roadblock.
Onuachu played 35 times for Genk in First Division A last year, making 21 goals and two assists.
Moses Simon (Nantes)
As the transfer window is set to close, rumors linking Simon to newly promoted English Premier League team Nottingham Forest have gained traction recently.
The winger had reportedly reached a personal agreement with the Reds, and the only point of contention between the two organizations was the transfer money.
However, Simon’s situation is complex because Nantes is unwilling to let the Nigerian leave the squad after he joined from La Liga club Levante in 2020 after spending a year on loan at the organization in 2019.
In 102 games for the Canaries, the winger has scored 21 goals and contributed 22 assists.
Simon aided Nantes in winning the Coupe de France and finishing tenth in the top division of France last year.
However, it could be impossible to refuse a tempting cost from Forest, who have already spent over €150 million during this transfer window.
The 27-year-old has also been connected to Leeds United and Brighton & Hove Albion, two English clubs.
William Troost-Ekong (Watford)
The Super Eagles skipper may be on his way back to Italy after being added late on Bologna’s transfer list.
Since his return from the Africa Cup of Nations in February, Troost-Ekong has lost his starting position at Watford.
The Hornets rejected a bid from Fenerbahce, the biggest club in the Turkish Super Lig, therefore it appears as though the defender will remain with the English team.
As has usually been the case, the Nigerian was given a lifeline with a connection to Bologna in the Serie A as a result of the late drama frequently associated with the transfer windows.
Bologna is trying to hire an experienced defender to bolster their defense after failing to keep a clean sheet in the league so far this year.
Troost-Ekong, who made 66 appearances for Serie A club Udinese between 2018 and 2020, is wanted back in Italy by manager Sinisa Mihajlovic.
Zaidu Sanusi (Porto)
Zaidu may be forced to transfer to Brighton in the Premier League even though Porto are not looking to trade the left-back.
The Eagles player was not for sale, and the Portuguese champions were resolute about this point, rejecting proposals from Everton, which had just sold the French midfielder Lucas Digne to Aston Villa.
After thwarting the Toffees’ interest, Porto is now attempting to fight off another bidding battle from Brighton, another English team.
The Seagulls replaced the Spanish fullback Marc Cucurella with Zaidu after selling him to Chelsea for a club-record £52.5 million.
According to transfermarkt, the Lagos-born left back is valued at €10 million. If the Portuguese club had the money to spend that much money, it might be too impossible to turn down a €20 million bid.
Josh Maja (Bordeaux)
Maja’s future is still out in the air after she turned down a contract extension from French club Bordeaux a few days ago.
Despite the fact that he began the 2022–23 season as a key component of David Guion’s retooled strike force, Les Girondins may be compelled to try to sell the player because of his expiring contract in June 2023.