The Nigerian midfield dynamo switched England for Greece last month and is already making his impact felt in the Super League
Super Eagles midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo completed his summer move from Stoke City to Aris Thessalonika on September 15, the Greek transfer deadline day.
But visa issues stopped the former Las Palmas ace from travelling to Greece until mid-October.
Etebo in Greece
Once Etebo landed at Aris, though, it was straight to business. Showing he was fit and in top shape, the 26-year-old completed the 90 minutes on his debut for the Yellow-and-Black.
Displaying all the qualities that made manager Alan Pardew pull all the stops to get him to Aris, Etebo was impressive as his side defeated Ionikos Nikeas 2-1 on October 15.
Etebo had an even better rating in Aris’ narrow 1-0 loss at Panathinaikos the following week, emerging as his side’s best player on the pitch.
Oghenekaro Etebo’s best match for Aris so far, however, came in the home clash against OFI Crete.
The former Getafe man bossed the midfield, completing 100% of his seven long balls, winning all his seven ground duels, making one interception, one clearance, and five tackles.
Disappointingly, Aris only managed a 1-1 draw at the Kleanthis Vikelides in Thessaloniki.
Etebo was at it again on Saturday (November 5), helping Aris dominate the ball possession (40% – 60%), total shots (6 – 10), and corner kicks (3 – 7). Still, the Yellow-Blacks were forced to a goalless draw at Atromitos Athens.
Etebo was disappointed in the result, with the midfielder convinced Aris would have won the encounter if they had better quality in attack.
Aris’s main striker is former Watford man Andre Gray while ex-Arsenal forward Gervinho is the alternative on the bench.
After the game against Atromitos in Peristeri, Etebo noted: “We were not expecting that. We were all ready and prepared to win. It was important to win. We are disappointed. We wanted 100% to win; it was important for us.
“In the last two games, we create chances, but the final ball is difficult. We have to work.
“We press well, we win balls, but in the final third, we don’t do something right. We have to work with the coach to improve on that.”
Ready for Super Eagles return?
Overall, Etebo would be impressed with his performance in Greece so far.
The midfielder would hope his excellent club displays would be enough to secure his return to the Super Eagles.
Etebo missed Nigeria’s game against Algeria in October, last playing for Nigeria in the 10-0 thrashing of Sao Tome and Principe in June.
The Super Eagles take on Portugal on November 17 in Lisbon, with head coach Jose Peseiro expected to release a roster of players for the encounter in the coming days.
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