Some Nigerian players made solid decisions throughout the window, but they must now demonstrate their value.
After a quick summer that saw some excellent transfers and signings, the summer transfer window finally closed on Thursday night across the major leagues and throughout the world.
While some clubs are pleased with the agreements reached at this time, others are disappointed that they were unable to sign the players they had their eyes set on.
Players have traveled great distances across borders and exchanged enormous sums of money, particularly with Premier League clubs, to begin their careers with new clubs.
Nigerian athletes were not excluded from this craze, since a few of them switched clubs during the time period under consideration.
Numerous Nigerian players participated in the summer transfer window, but PREMIUM TIMES singled out five of the Naija Boys’ best moves.
Taiwo Awoniyi: Union Berlin to Nottingham Forest
Awoniyi is an example of a club going above and above for a Nigerian player, which is always nice to watch.
Nottingham Forest was aware that in order to maintain their elite status after being promoted to the Premier League, they would need to score a lot of goals.
They went to Germany first, when they stole Awoniyi from Union Berlin for a then-club record sum of close to £17.5 million.
The 24-year-old was given a five-year contract by the two-time European champions, becoming Forest’s first foreign acquisition of the summer.
Even though he had only scored one by the fifth matchday, it was a significant and historic goal because it marked the return of Forest to the top flight. Awoniyi has displayed moments of brilliance, leading some to believe he would be worth the millions of pounds spent on him.
Calvin Bassey: Rangers to Ajax Amsterdam
Bassey’s sale to his Scottish team, Rangers, set a club record even though he wasn’t a club-record acquisition like Awoniyi.
The 22-year-old player from Out of the Blue only required a breakout season to put him on the radar of Europe’s top teams.
Ajax won the bidding war and spent a regal €23 million on Bassey, with an additional €3.5 million anticipated.
Bassey is unquestionably the most expensive defender in Nigerian history and is rumored to be the sixth most expensive player in the country’s history. He has high expectations.
Although Bassey “false-started” on his official debut and received a red card, he is already acclimating quickly to life in Amsterdam and the Eredivisie as a whole.
It is anticipated that he will succeed in the same way as his countrymen Finidi George, Kanu Nwankwo, and Sunday Oliseh, among others, who excelled in their roles as Ajax representatives.
Sadiq Umar: Almeria to Real Sociedad
With his aims, Sadiq succeeded in his mission to return Almeria to La Liga, and he was eager to take on new tasks to continue growing.
The Olympic bronze medalist chose Real Sociedad even though he transferred teams because he wanted to remain living in Spain’s familiar surroundings.
Umar will play in the Europa League alongside Manchester United and Sociedad in addition to his La Liga responsibilities.
Real Sociedad will be Umar’s eleventh club in six years, despite the fact that the majority of his other movements have been loan agreements.
Raphael Onyedika: FC Midtjylland to Club Brugge
The midfielder, who was seen as a player with promise for the future, reportedly spent weeks on AC Milan’s radar before being signed by Club Brugge, the top Belgian team.
The 21-year-old Onyedika committed to a five-year contract that would keep him with the reigning Belgian champions through 2027.
Onyedika had a breakout year, helping FC Midtjylland win the domestic Cup shortly after being promoted to the main squad.
The defensive midfielder’s goals this season are to assist Club Brugge retain their league title and advance from their UEFA Champions League group, where they are placed alongside Porto, Atletico Madrid, and Bayer Leverkusen.
Joe Aribo: Rangers to Southampton
For the 26-year-old who has physically worked his way to the top, the deal was more of a dream come true than it was financially.
Aribo, a 2019 transfer from Charlton Athletic to Rangers, showed his prowess at Ibrox by tallying 26 goals in 149 appearances, including one in the Europa League final.
After that, the midfielder was signed by the Saints to a four-year deal for an unknown sum, which means he may remain at St. Mary’s Stadium through 2026.
The quick-footed Aribo has already scored a goal for the Saints after showcasing his skills in the preseason games.
The Super Eagles player referred to his move to England as a “dream come true” in his first interview with Southampton and dubbed the English elite division as the greatest in the world.