Likened to the great Rashidi Yekini, the Nigeria international has been tipped to take the Spanish top flight by storm this term
Former Racing Santander midfielder Mutiu Adepoju is convinced that Real Sociedad has made an excellent investment in signing Nigerian striker Umar Sadiq.
Real Sociedad parted with €20 million (approximately nine billion naira) to secure the transfer of Sadiq from fellow La Liga campaigners UD Almeria on transfer deadline day.
That transfer fee is the highest that the White and Blues have ever paid to bring a player to the Anoeta Stadium.
But Adepoju believes Sadiq is worth the enormous outlay and has backed his younger compatriot to come good for Real Sociedad.
Asked in an interview with Muncho Deportivo what he thinks of Sadiq’s €20 million cost, Adepoju said, “It seems to me that he will be a profitable signing.
“La Real will receive much more from Sadiq than they have paid. You are going to see it.”
Did Adepoju recommend Sadiq to Sociedad?
Adepoju played for Real Sociedad for four years between 1996 and 2000, and the retired midfielder remains a respected figure at San Sebastián.
The former Nigeria international was teammate and is still in touch with current Real Sociedad football director Roberto Olabe and club manager Imanol Alguacil.
Still, Adepoju maintains that he did not influence the club’s move for Sadiq.
“No (I did not recommend him to Olabe),” Adepoju said. “And it’s funny. I was with Olabe, but we couldn’t talk about him (Sadiq). I know that they were following him, and there was someone else who asked me about Sadiq.”
Sadiq scores on his debut
Sadiq needed less than ten minutes on his debut to show the Real Sociedad faithful he was worth the hype.
After coming on as a second-half substitute, the 25-year-old headed home the equaliser in the 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid at the weekend.
Asked whether he was surprised that Sadiq scored as soon as he entered, Adepoju said, “No. That’s why Real signed him. Olabe is doing a great job. Isak, now Sadiq, he is signing big players. They have seen that Sadiq can give them a lot.
“And, of course, it says a lot about him to score as soon as he enters. I’m sure he’s going to give Real a lot.”
Despite being a big admirer of the former Almeria forward, Adepoju admits he has never spoken to Sadiq.
But the 51-year-old insists the younger man reminds him of Nigeria’s all-time top goalscorer Rashidi Yekini.
“No, I have never spoken to him,” the former Real Madrid B star said. “But I follow him, I watch all his games and he seems like a great player; he can give more.
“He reminds me of another Nigerian we had, Rashidi Yekini, who we used to call ‘gangling’. I think Sadiq is young and can catch up with Yekini. He has a goal, quality, height and runs more or less like him (Yekini).”
“I like the way he moves in the area and the way he helps his teammates. He doesn’t wait for the ball. He scores and helps the team. He shows up when the team needs him and is always in the right place.”
Having previously found the net twice for Almeria before switching to Sociedad, Sadiq now has three La Liga goals in four games in his debut season.
The former AS Roma star will look to add to that tally when Real Sociedad face Getafe at the weekend.
Before then, however, the White and Blues make the trip to Old Trafford to tackle Manchester United in a Europa League clash on Thursday.