The Super Eagles are out of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, but there are some players that did not do their chances of a further callup any harm.
One of those players is Umar Sadiq. The 24-year-old was not initially in the squad but was drafted in after Victor Osimhen and Emmanuel Dennis.
Sadiq played in all four games Nigeria played, and while he was frustrating at times, he still boosted his chances of receiving further callups with a decent display.
He scored against a Guinea-Bissau, even though he had been below par before the goal. He also applied himself better than Taiwo Awoniyi after coming on as a substitute in the loss to Tunisia, which eventually resulted in Nigeria’s exit.
Nonetheless, Umar did well for himself, and he is likely to get more invitations to the team in the future.
Sadiq started his career with Kusa Boys of Kaduna, his native city, before joining Abuja College academy. He was part of the academy team that travelled to Croatia to play the Kvarnerska Rivijera competition.
It was at this competition he caught the attention of Spezia’s scouts, who then decided to take a chance on him by signing him.
Sadiq did not play for Spezia’s first team, but he did well for the U-19 team, which made Roma take him on an initial loan deal before signing him permanently in 2016.
However, he spent most of his time at Roma on loan at Bologna, Torino, NAC Breda, Rangers, Perugia and Partizan Belgrade.
Sadiq did not have the best of time at these clubs, though, especially at Rangers. He is not a player Gers fans have a fond memory of, making just four appearances for the club.
But he finally turned it around at Partizan, who took him on loan in July 2019 before signing him permanently in January 2020.
Sadiq scored 23 goals and registered 19 assists in 52 appearances for the Serbian side. This made Spanish second division side Almeria pay 5m euros to sign him in October 2021.
In his first season in Spain, he scored 20 league goals. He has continued in the same vein this campaign with eight goals and seven assists in 19 league games.
He has already been linked with a host of European giants, and it is only a matter of when he would leave the Spanish second division for a big club.