Standard Liège manager Ronny Deila has expressed regret over not signing Nigerian striker Victor Boniface when they had the chance.
Deila passed up the chance to sign Victor Boniface when he was the head coach at Norwegian side Valerenga.
And the 47-year-old tactician watched as Boniface became one of the best attacking young talents in Norway at Bodo/Glimt.
Last summer, Boniface completed a €2.2 million switch to Royale Union Saint-Gilloise to compete in the Belgian First Division A against his former acquaintance, Ronny Deila, who had taken charge at Standard Liège.
Soccernet.ng reports that Boniface has needed little time to settle in Belgium and was the chief reason Union SG reached the quarterfinals of the Europa League.
With 11 goals for Boniface across the UEFA Champions League qualifiers and the Europa League, no other Nigerian has more goals than the 22-year-old in the continental club competitions.
It is a record that has reportedly placed Boniface on the radar of some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including AC Milan.
And it is one that has former Celtic boss Ronny Deila revealing that not signing the forward is one of his biggest transfer regrets.
What was said?
“I haven’t made many mistakes in my career transfer-wise, but not signing him (Boniface) is one of my biggest regrets,” Deila said, as per Walfoot.
“I’m the guy who brought him to Norway for a test at Valerenga. He came to Spain with us, but I already had enough players in my attacking compartment. We didn’t offer him a contract, and he then joined Bodo/Glimt.
“The rest of the story, we can tell. A big mistake on my part! He was already very good in Norway, but now he is huge. It’s impressive what he has achieved on the European stage this season. As soon as he has the ball, everyone can feel something will happen.”
Union Saint-Gilloise broke the bank to sign Boniface last year. But with the Super Eagles hopeful, attracting interest from top Italian and English clubs, he could fetch the high-flying Belgian side five times that figure this summer.