Many deals were completed during the January football transfer window, but a few others hit the proverbial brick wall.

The English Premier League was the most active business area, with Chelsea splurging money and even breaking the British transfer record by signing Enzo Fernández from Benfica.

At the bottom of the table, players like Southampton were also involved in dynamic deals to avoid relegation from England’s top flight.

As every year, player deal scenarios kidnapped by the richest and sometimes most innovative clubs played out, with others achieving massive transfers.

Nigerian players did not make headlines during the winter transfer window, although one or two of them were involved with clubs fighting over their services.

Now that the January transfer window has officially ended at least in Europe, PREMIUM TIMES makes a selection of five of the best moves made by Nigerian players this winter.

Terrem Moffi: Lorient – ​​OGC Nice

The Super Eagles striker was on the wish list of some English Premier League clubs but opted to stay in the French Ligue 1, where he is building a reputation for goalscoring.

Since coming to France from KV Kortrijk in 2020, Moffi has scored an impressive 34 goals in 87 games and is set to score even more now that he has switched from his former club Lorient to OGC Nice.

According to French Football, “the agreement between Nice and Lorient is not a direct transfer, but a mandatory repaid loan of 2.5 million euros with an obligation of 22.5 million euros (plus a bonus of 5 million euros) for buy the Nigerian international striker.

The nine-time capped Super Eagles striker is expected to make his Nice debut against Marseille on Sunday 5 February.

Paul Onuachu: Racing Genk – Southampton

The lanky striker is the latest Nigerian player to move to the English Premier League after a deadline day move from his Belgian club RKC Genk to Southampton.


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The striker hopes to follow the record of the likes of Efan Ekoku, Kanu Nwankwo and Yakubu Aiyegbeni, who have shown just how deadly they could be in the Premier League in recent years.

With the Saints languishing at the bottom of the table midway through the season, Onuachu will need to make an immediate impact in their first game, which is likely to be against Brentford this weekend.

Fortunately for Onuachu, he has a Nigerian friend in Joe Aribo in Southampton who should help him get settled in as soon as possible.

Ebenezer Akinsanmiro: Remo Stars – Inter Milan

Although not widely celebrated in the media, this is a moving move from a young Nigerian, straight from the Nigerian Professional Soccer League to the big league in Italy.

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As revealed by Remo Stars, the teenager who is a product of the club’s academy has signed a four-year deal with Inter Milan.

Akinsanmiro was part of the team that helped Remo Stars gain promotion from the Nigerian National League to the NPFL in the 2020/2021 season.

He also featured in the 2021/22 Nigerian Professional Football League for Sky Blues Stars.

Most notably, Akinsanmiro participated in the Remo Stars academy team, Beyond Limits in The Creative Championship and the Viareggio Cup World Soccer Tournament.

Hopefully, he will make a name for himself at Inter just like the duo of Obafemi Martins and Pastor Taribo West.

Tolu Arokodare: Amiens – Racing Genk

Genk seems to be in love with the tall Nigerian strikers with the signing of Arokodare on the same day Onuachu switched to the Premier League to join Southampton.

Arokodare last played for French Ligue 2 club Amiens before signing a four-and-a-half-year deal with Racing Genk.

Since his early days with Nigerian grassroots clubs Flying Sports Academy and Box2Box FC, Arokodare has proven to be a lethal striker.

He’s netted 43 goals in total for his previous European clubs, but he’d be keen to top that tally in Belgium.

KRC Genk’s director of football, Dimitri De Condé, had some very nice words about his new Nigerian striker.

“Despite his height, he is very agile, fast in the first few meters and strong with his head,” he said via the club’s official website.

William Troost-Ekong: Watford-Salernitana

With minutes running short at Vicarage Road with Watford, Troost-Ekong made a swift return to Italy’s Serie A, where he is on loan until the end of the season with Salernitana.

Troost-Ekong returns to the Italian top flight two years and four months after leaving Udinese to join Watford.

Salernitana will pay Watford a loan fee for the central defender and there is a clause for an additional fee if the Garnets retain their top division status at the end of the 2022-2023 season.

Troost-Ekong’s arrival is already rubbing off positively at Salernitana as he made a winning debut for the newly promoted Serie A team against Lecce.

The three points will help Salernitana achieve their main goal of maintaining their elite status at the end of the season.


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