The Super Eagles skipper has been lauded for following in the footsteps of legendary compatriots who took the courage to return to the domestic scene after spells in Europe
1980 Africa Cup of Nations-winning star Felix Owolabi has commended Ahmed Musa for deciding to rejoin Kano Pillars more than a decade since leaving the club for greener pastures in Europe.
Musa’s career received a huge boost when he was signed by Maisu Gida over ten years ago, with the then-teenager wrecking NPFL clubs’ defences en route to smashing home 18 league goals – a top-flight record at the time.
At the end of that solitary season with Pillars, Musa was off to the Netherlands, where he starred for VV Venlo before switching to Russia’s CSKA Moscow.
The Jos-born forward won the first major honours of his career with the Moscovites and was one of the club’s best players for many years.
And in 2016, Leicester City splashed a club record £16 million to take Musa to England. The Super Eagles star didn’t enjoy the best of times with the Foxes, and after a brief loan move back to CSKA Moscow, he moved permanently to Saudi Arabia to team up with Al Nassr.
Musa played an influential role as Najd’s Knights won the Saudi Premier League and the Saudi Super Cup double at the end of his maiden campaign with the side.
But the former JUTH starlet parted company with Al Nassr last October and has been without a club since, despite a couple of English sides showing solid interests during the January transfer season.
With the World Cup qualifiers around the corner, Musa, during the week, returned to Kano Pillars to maintain his fitness and get critics off his back when Gernot Rohr invites him later for a national team assignment.
Nigeria’s goal king, late Rashidi Yekini, returned to star for Julius Berger FC after a distinguished career in Europe. At the same time, Atlanta Olympics hero Daniel Amokachi also took in a spell as player-coach for Nasarawa United before calling time on a successful playing career.
Former Nigerian international Owolabi reckons Musa deserves a hero’s welcome enjoyed by those two before him as he returns to lift the image of the NPFL.
“This is highly commendable, now I have another reason to admire him, the truth is it’s not new, late Rashid Yekini did the same, even Daniel Amokachi, and I think it’s admirable,” the Nation quotes Owolabi.
“Imagine what will happen at Liberty Stadium if Kano Pillars is playing with Shooting Stars. The crowd in the stadium will be massive.
“Imagine what that will do for our league. Our league will be better for it.
“As a player, regular playing time is very important. He understands that. I don’t see it as a sign of regression.”
Ahmed Musa has already set the target of guiding Kano Pillars to the NPFL title come the end of the season.
Maisu Gida are second to leaders Kwara United on the league table on goal difference, with the 2020/21 campaign at the midway point.