The Rojiblancos have had it tough since their talisman left for the continental championships, and they cannot wait to have him lead their resurgence
Almeria may sympathise with Nigerians for their disappointment in seeing their dreams of a fourth Africa Cup of Nations title go up in flames on Sunday. Still, the Spaniards would be the first to embrace that hurtful result.
It has been a terrible January for the Rojiblancos, who have suffered one poor result after another while their leading striker was with the Super Eagles in Cameroon.
Before Sadiq joined the national team camp in December, he had contributed eight goals and seven assists to power Almeria to the top of the Segunda Division.
The last of the 24-year-old’s goals arrived in the 3-0 defeat of Real Zaragoza on December 11, but that is the last time Almeria has tasted victory in the Spanish second division.
Coach Joan ‘Rubi’ Ferrer’s men have since picked up just one point from a possible 12, losing to Cartagena, Lugo, and Eibar and earning a tough draw at Las Palmas.
With their other strikers enduring a run of poor form and injury setbacks, the Indálicos have scored just twice in those four matches and have lost the top spot in the division to Eibar.
While the Almeriensistas were suffering in Spain, Sadiq was soaring with the Super Eagles in Cameroon. The ex-Roma starlet saw action as Nigeria defeated Egypt, Sudan, and Guinea-Bissau, with the striker scoring his maiden Afcon goal against the Wild Dogs.
But a shock loss to Tunisia in Garoua on Sunday ended Nigeria’s Afcon campaign allowing Sadiq to return to Spain early.
It is good news for Almeria, who face Real Oviedo on Saturday, with Sadiq likely to be in the matchday squad.
A win would bring normalcy and relief back to the Andalusia-based club and set them on their way back to La Liga promotion.
And a goalscoring return would confirm Sadiq’s status as the fuel that keeps Almeria’s engine running.