There was no remarkable demand for Nigerian stars in the just-concluded winter transfer window, with Henry Onyekuru’s loan deal the highlight of a mellowed month
Former Nigerian international Julius Aghahowa has hinged the absence of big-money moves for major Nigerian stars in the just concluded transfer window on the low ratings and poor showings of the national team in recent times.
Unlike in the summer, when big European clubs were neck-to-neck in pursuit of the likes of Victor Osimhen, Cyriel Dessers, and William Troost Ekong, among others, no major deal was in the offing for Super Eagles’ players this January.
A few Nigerian internationals who switched sides in the month did so because they were considered surplus to requirements at their parent clubs.
Turkish giants Galatasaray secured the services of Nigerian winger Henry Onyekuru from French side Monaco temporarily, while Fulham added Bordeaux’s Josh Maja to their burgeoning Nigerian contingent.
Belgium’s Club Brugge were pleased to see Emmanuel Dennis use the exit door on his way to Germany’s FC Cologne.
And Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa, who had been without a club since departing Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr last year, is expected to join struggling West Bromwich Albion any moment.
But ex-Shakhtar Donetsk striker Aghahowa maintains that such an awkward situation can be traced back to the Super Eagles’ uninspiring outings in recent days.
Speaking to Brila FM on why Nigerian stars failed to attract top clubs in the transfer market, Aghahowa said: “The reason for that is the performance of the national team itself.
“If people are watching the national team their performance their result in the last 5 or 6 games and people are tracking. They track the players to their national team, especially back home.
“If it’s Europe, they track players to their club and but African players find them when they are playing for the national team. If we look at our position, it is not that spectacular, and that alone will not make our players sell.”
Nigeria, currently ranked fourth in Africa, played four games in 2020, winning none.
A friendly loss to Algeria and a share of the spoils versus Tunisia in Austria were quickly followed by two Afcon-qualifying draws against unfancied Sierra Leone.