Tag Archives: super eagles

AFCON: Gernot Rohr at edge of ‘fire’

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While the Super Eagles played a 4-4 with the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone after leading 4-0 in Benin City, Edo State, it went on to play a goalless draw with the team in Freetown.

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has hinted at relieving the Super Eagles’ manager, Gernot Rohr, of his duties.

Dare’s reservation was due to the national team’s lacklustre performance against Sierra Leone in their doubleheader AFCON 2022 qualifier.

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Dare tweeted on his Twitter handle on Wednesday: “The performance of the Super Eagles from their last two matches calls to question the suitability and competences of Technical Adviser, Rohr.

“Nigerian football deserves better.

“The needful will be done.

“Apologies to all football lovers.”


#Newsworthy…

AFCON: Super Eagles play 0-0 draw with Sierra Leone in Freetown

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The Leone Stars are yet to record a victory in the group but their massive turnaround in the first fixture against the Nigerian side gives the home team a huge psychological advantage in the second leg.

Sierra Leone vs Nigeria will see the Leone Stars attempt to live up to their dramatic 4-4 comeback to record a win over the Super Eagles in Freetown.

Despite giving away four goals to the Sierra Leonean side at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, the three-time African champions still lead Group L with seven points, one ahead of Benin.

Line up:

Super Eagles starting XI: Okoye, Akpoguma, Balogun, Ekong, Aina, Etebo, Iwobi, Aribo, Chukwueze, Iheanacho, Musa.


#Newsworthy

Players attack Gernot Rohr as Super Eagles’ Camp land in total disarray

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Nigeria led Sierra Leone by 4-0 only for the Leone Stars to come back and force the Super Eagles to a 4-4 draw.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is battling to bring sanity to Super Eagles camp over ‘the bad blood’ generated by Friday’s 4-4 draw the Nigerian team recorded against Sierra Leone in an African Cup of Nations qualifier.

Nigeria led Sierra Leone by 4-0 only for the Leone Stars to come back and force the Super Eagles to a 4-4 draw.

At the end of the game, many of the players and some back room staff blamed Rohr for the draw, accusing the German of ignoring their counsel in game management.

An NFF top official, who pleaded anonymity, said the federation’s president, Amaju Pinnick, had to intervene when it looked like some players and coaches were trying to mutiny against Rohr over the way he is handling the team.

Relating to an incident during the match when skipper Ahmed Musa had to confront Rohr for making bad changes in the course of the game, the source said many of the senior players accused the German of not understanding the flow of the game and therefore could not make effective changes.

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“The Sierra Leonean coach made three changes that turned the game on its head, while Rohr reduced the effectiveness of our team by some curious decisions.

“The worst part is that he did not seek any of his coaches opinion before the game. He only wrote some things on a paper and passed to our team secretary, Dayo Enebi, who then submitted names for substitutions. “Rohr said some of the players were not mentally ripe for national team games, yet he keeps inviting these players.

“The way things stand, if the NFF president fails to bring sanity to the camp, we could witness worse performance in Freetown,” he said.

The source also said some of the senior players have started questioning Rohr’s competence, arguing the German has not been able to lift the team above the 2017 level.


#Newsworthy

AFCON: Eagles’ player, Osimhen ruled out of rematch against Sierra Leone

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Osimhen scored one of the goals in a dramatic 4-4 draw with Sierra Leone, who recovered from four goals down in Benin City on Friday, but was later substituted after hurting his shoulder.

Napoli striker Victor Osimhen will miss Tuesday’s Africa Cup of Nations return qualifier against Sierra Leone in Freetown after he dislocated his shoulder in the first game, according to Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr.

He has since been discharged from hospital, but Rohr said he will not be available for the rematch in Sierra Leone.

“He is out of the match after he dislocated his shoulder,” Rohr disclosed.

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Osimhen, 21, has scored four goals in three Nations Cup qualifiers.

However, the Super Eagles coach said he is confident both Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze and Leon Balogun from Scottish club Rangers will be fit for the match in Freetown.

“Balogun was replaced after he got injured, he did not train today but he will be okay, while Chukwueze has a little pain around the groin, but we hope to have him back,” he assured.

Club Brugge forward Emmanuel Dennis is the other injury doubt after he injured his ankle in training.


#NobleSport

Super Eagles battle Algeria in Austria.

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Coach Gernot Rohr is using the friendlies to put his team in good shape for the forthcoming AFCON and World Cup qualifiers and to also see what the new boys will bring to his team.

Super Eagles Coach Gernot Rohr will be watching out for the players among the new recruits who can make the national team stronger when Nigeria meets Algeria in an international friendly in Austria today.
The German will file out a team complete with a new trio of goalkeepers and up to five players looking to play their way into the heart of the national team selectors.

The Eagles will play without striker Victor Osimhen, midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi, Joe Aribo, and regular goalkeepers Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, and Daniel Akpeyi. Vying to impress in their positions are goalkeepers Maduka Okoye, Dele Alampasu, and Mathew Yakubu. Also on the verge of making their Super Eagles debut are Cyril Dessers, Chidera Ejuke, Zaidu Sanusi, Frank Onyeka, Samson Tijani, and former Germany U-20 captain, Kevin Akpoguma.

The Super Eagles last training session indicated that Everton midfielder, Alex Iwobi could be supported in the midfield by new kid, Frank Onyeka, and returnee, Mikel Agu.

Apart from the new boys, Kelechi Iheanacho and Tyrone Ebuehi are back in the team hoping to do enough in this game and Tuesday’s match against Tunisia to earn a permanent position in the squad.

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Iheanacho was left out of the team to the 2019 African Cup of Nations because of poor form while Ebuehi is coming back from more than one-year injury-induced absence.

Algeria, who have a second game against Mexico in The Netherlands on Tuesday, come into today’s game not only as of the champions of Africa but also on the back of an 18-match unbeaten run.

They have not lost on the pitch since they were bumped by the odd goal in an AFCON 2019 qualifier away in the Benin Republic in October 2018.

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Two years earlier, they were beaten 3-1 by the Super Eagles in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match in Uyo. Both teams ended the return leg in Constantine 1-1, though the Eagles had already picked the only World Cup ticket from the group ahead of that final encounter.

Djamel Belmadi, the former Algerian international who coached his country to a second continental title in Egypt last year, has included standout names Riyad Mahrez, Yassine Brahimi, Sofiane Feghouli, and Baghdad Bounedjah in his 24-man squad to confront the three-time African champions.

The game, like Tuesday’s, will kick off at 8.30pmAustria time (7.30pmNigeria time).

The match, earlier scheduled to hold at the Jacques Lemmans Arena in the Austrian state of Carinthia, which contains only 2,420 spectators, has now been moved to Worthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt, with 30,000 seating capacity.

No reason was given for the change in the match venue.

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The Super Eagles trained only ones yesterday ahead of the clash against scheduled to kick-off by 7:30 p.m. Nigerian time.

Meanwhile, the Super Eagles have dismissed reports in some quarters that some of the players in the team’s Austria camp have tested positive for COVID-19 as reported by a section of the media yesterday. The report said four players tested positive for the deadly COVID-19 and had to undergo another round of testing.

Super Eagles Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye, expressed dismay over such reports, noting that results of the tests carried out on the players were being awaited yesterday.

He wondered how the players could test positive for the virus without the result of their tests.

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“Please discountenance reports that some of our players tested positive to COVID-19 ahead of tomorrow’s friendly game against Algeria. It is a blatant falsehood.”

“The writer of the story, who was not part of the press conference earlier today, totally misrepresented what Coach Rohr said.

“Rohr said that since the outbreak of the pandemic, four of our players had tested positive, but we’re all now fully recovered from the virus and back in action.

“The results of the COVID-19 tests carried out on the Super Eagles ahead of tomorrow’s game are still being awaited,” Ibitoye said.


#Newsworthy..,.

Super eagle’s Osimhen signs contract with Napoli

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Italian side, Napoli have signed Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen, the club confirmed in a statement on Friday.

“Welcome to Napoli, Victor, ” the club said on their Twitter handle while confirming the arrival of the Nigerian from French side, Lille.

“Can’t wait to put on this iconic jersey, thank you for the warm welcome @sscnapoli #forzanapolisempre,” the player tweeted following the confirmation of his switch.

Although no official fee was announced for the signing of the 21-year-old striker, several sources claim the deal is worth over $96 million (81.3m Euros) which makes the forward the most expensive African player of all time.

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Osimhen’s move to the Gli Azzurri trumps the prize Arsenal paid for Ivory Coast forward, Nicolas Pepe last year.

Last term, the former Charleroi (from where he moved to France) man scored 18 goals in all games for Lille and has been linked with a move to Naples in recent times.

His stellar showing for the French side saw him winning the Lille Player of the Season just as he made it to Ligue 1’s team for the 2019/2020 campaign.

The Edo-born footballer came into limelight after he helped the Nigerian U-17 team win the 2015 World Cup in Chile, scooping the Golden Boot and Silver Ball awards.

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During the competition, he struck 10 times after which he bagged Africa’s Youth Player of the Year for 2015.

He immediately joined German side, Wolfsburg following his exploits in the cadet competition, turning down Arsenal of England.

Thereafter, he teamed up with Charleroi in Belgium, initially on loan, after a barren spell with the Bundesliga outfit.

Since his debut for the senior national team in June 2017, he has played 10 matches and bagged four goals.


#NobleSport

POTY Awards: Eagles star, Semi Ajayi gets West Bromwich nomination

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Newly-promoted English Premier League side, West Bromwich Albion have nominated Super Eagles defender, Semi Ajayi, for the club’s Player of the Year award for 2020.

Ajayi, 26, teamed up with the Baggies in the summer of 2019 from League Two side, Rotherham United, going ahead to becoming a mainstay in the side’s defence.

The Nigerian scored five goals in 43 league matches for Slaven Bilić’s side to help them gain promotion to the English topflight after they finished second behind Leeds United.

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“One historic campaign. Promotion to the Premier League secured. But there are still important matters to wrap up from the memorable 2019/20 season,” the club said on its website.

It added, “Voting is now open for the Ideal Boilers Supporters’ Player of the Season award – your opportunity to crown Albion’s star man in this promotion-winning year.”

Slide to see images

Ajayi, alongside 14 others, will be vying for the prize with the shortlist including players who featured in at least 23 matches for the Baggies in the Championship.

They include Sam Johnstone, Darnell Furlong, Hal Robson-Kanu, Kyle Bartley, Filip Krovinović, Jake Livermore, and Matt Phillips.

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Other contenders for the award are Matheus Pereira, Conor Townsend, Charlie Austin, Romaine Sawyers, Kyle Edwards, and Grady Diangana.

In April, Ajayi was included in the FIFA 20’s Ultimate Championship Team of the Season alongside Super Eagles prospect, Ebere Eze who plays for Queens Park Rangers (QPR).

Semi who narrowly missed out of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) where Nigeria clinched the bronze medal, took to his Instagram handle to celebrate the feat.

“Humbled to have been included in the EFL Team of The Season So Far Thank you for all of your support this season,” the Baggies defender wrote on the social media platform.

Read Also:

West Brom player, Ajayi calls Ronaldinho his hero.


#NobleSports…

Eagles can challenge for world cup trophy – Coach Egbo says

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The first African coach to win a European league title Emmanuel Ndubuisi Egbo believes the Super Eagles of Nigeria can challenge for the FIFA World Cup trophy.

Coach Egbo who won the Albanian top-flight league title with KF Tirana with two games left and qualified the team for the UEFA Champions League, made history by becoming the first from the continent to achieve such feat.

The 46-year-old who was a guest on Media TV (known to Noble Reporters Media) described his success as a celebration for all Africans.

“I believe it’s not just a celebration for me, it’s a celebration for all Africans, all Nigerians, all the black race everywhere.

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“They are responsible for this wonderful amazing feat we succeeded in doing far away from my home country in a foreign land.

“It is still sinking down because I was doing my job just to train my team to try to win the league after 11 years away not winning the league and I didn’t know until when we won the league that when the news open and then I got to know that I am the first African, the first Nigerian to do this feat and it has been a wonderful time,” He said.

After winning the title, coach Egbo says he is hungry for more success and his attention now is to win the last two league games of the season and also clinch the FA Cup, a title KF Tirana last won in 1999.

“We are not celebrating yet; we still have two games in the league to finish and then we will receive the medal and the trophy on the 29th of this month and then we have the finals of the FA Cup on the 2nd of August so I’m still in a celebratory mood but I want to win the doubles,” he said.

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The former Super Eagles goalkeeper took charge of KF Tirana when the club was in eight position after two managers failed to turn around the fortunes of the club.

Prior to his appointment, the Nigerian has been with the club for six years as an assistant coach and goalkeeper trainer.

Having won the league title, league cup and super cup with the team as a player, his desire was to win a title for the team.

He revealed, “ I know how I felt winning it as a player though it was not an easy task; the team was in the relegation zone, we were down and out psychologically and otherwise, our turnaround was winning the derby and went on to win 16 games with just a draw, a record in the league.”

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He is now looking forward to extending his contract with the club.

“I was given three games in December pending on the appointment of another coach, normally that’s what I do anytime a coach is sack I come in as a caretaker. When I won all three games, they said it can’t be possible to bring another coach since none of their previous coaches have won three consecutive games and so I was given the job until the end of the season.

“We are now in discussion for a new contract before the end of the season we will hear another news about renewing or extending the contract.’’

Coaching is a very tasking job and doing it in a foreign country comes with many obstacles, as a result, former players are more comfortable with taking a coaching job with the national teams but for coach Egbo, overcoming the challenges must come with sacrifice, hard work and belief.

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“It is not that they won’t have problems or issues, but they need to believe in themselves because that’s very important. The more they try to stop you, you have to give more confidence to yourself to do more,” he added.

“That’s exactly what happened to me, it was not an easy task for me, being a foreigner and also being a black coach. Though I had wonderful support from the fans, but as they said in every 12, there is always a Judah.

“There are people who don’t want you to achieve anything or succeed but those are the people that help you more if you take the positives out of their criticism you don’t need to allow it to bring you down, fight more to prove that you can do it. If I can do it, then any African coach can do it.”

Coach Egbo represented Nigeria 12 times and was part of the team that featured in the 2000 and 2002 Africa Cup of Nations where the Super Eagles won silver and bronze respectively.

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He is open to coaching the national team and feels the Eagles should go to the World Cup with the aim of winning the trophy.

“I’m 100% Nigerian even though I have a European passport. I got everything in Nigeria and I played at the highest level so anytime I’m called upon to come and help, to raise the football of my country up, I will be here because I want us one day to be challenging to win the World Cup.

“I’m always open; we can never say never to our country, it’s like a military service that anytime we are called, upon we have to do it for our country,” he explained.


#NobleSports…

COVID-19: Super Eagles Paul Onuachu test positive

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Denmark-based striker Paul Onuachu fired home from outside the box to score the only goal of the game.

Super Eagles and Genk forward Paul Onuachu has tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday.

The striker has returned to Belgium amid the relaxation of lockdown in major cities across the globe.

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As gathered by NobleSport, the Smurfs were subjected to a Covid-19 test in the build-up to Thursday’s preseason game against Eendracht Termien with only the Nigerian testing positive.

“In the run-up to the first exhibition game of the season, the entire Genk group was tested yesterday. Everyone tested negative except Onuachu,”

“Onuachu returned from Nigeria with a delay because airspace over Nigeria remained closed for a long time.

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“Racing Genk will play its first exhibition game of the new season against Eendracht Termien tomorrow, but there is quite a bit of concern within the Genk player group. They have been training intensively with Onuachu for more than a week now.

Super Eagles Striker, Paul Onuachu

“For the time being, the match against Termien will continue as planned. Last weekend, a friendly game of Waasland-Beveren against KV Mechelen was canceled after a positive corona test with a player from Waasland-Beveren.”

He is expected to join the team when he fully recovers from the disease.

Onuachu made his Super Eagles debut against Egypt in a friendly and has now featured six times for the three-time African champions.


#Newsworthy…

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NFF renew Gernot Rohr’s contract


The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Wednesday announced that it has concluded all contractual agreements with Gernot Rohr to remain the coach of the country’s national team.

“I’m happy to announce that the NFF and Coach Gernot Rohr have concluded all contractual discussions and he will stay on as Coach of the Super Eagles,” NFF president Amaju Pinnick said in a statement.

“We have always had confidence in his abilities and we are confident that the national team can only go higher from here.”

The German gaffer was first appointed Super Eagles coach in August 2016 in a three years contract after Sunday Oliseh was sacked by the NFF.

He won his first game in charge of the Nigerian national team with a 1 – 0 win over Tanzania in Uyo, Akwa Ibo State Nigeria.

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On 7 October 2017, he led Nigeria to become the first African side to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after a 1–0 win against Zambia. On 17 July 2019, Rohr led Nigeria to a third-place finish at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Since the country’s exit from the 2019 AFCON tournament in Egypt, talks about his contract renewal had hit the woodwork in separate times.

Rohr’s major criticism by many Nigerians was his alleged attitude to local players from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NFPL).

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His critics argued that there should be a mandatory clause to play local players in his new contract if renewed. It is, however, unknown if such condition was in the renewed contract.

Despite the many reasons stated by Rohr’s critics, Pinnick said he “never lost confidence in Gernot Rohr’s ability to take our football forward and I’m convinced our football will only get better from here on.”

Pinnick disclosed that qualification for the next World Cup in Qatar and winning the next AFCON competition are the conditions given to the Super Eagles coach.

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“In truth, these are sacrosanct and Coach Rohr is aware of these conditions. Like the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development has rightly noted; we are uncompromising in these goals,” Pinnick said.

“With the distraction of the contract talks out of the way now, we can now face our football on the pitch, totally.”


#NobleSports

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Eze, New Jay Jay Okocha in Dilemma.


QPR attacker and Tottenham transfer target Eberechi Eze has opened up about his difficult decision whether to pursue an international career with England or Nigeria.

Eze is one of the most highly-rated talents in the Championship, and has scored 12 goals in 37 league appearances this season for the R’s.


So impressive has his form been this term that he has been tipped with a move across London to Spurs.

However, it doesn’t look like which club he plays for is Eze’s main concern right now, as he faces a dilemma about which nation to represent.


The £9 million-rated prospect has played for England in youth football, but qualifies to represent Nigeria due to his African ancestry.

Back in 2017, Eze trained with the Super Eagles, while they were in London, an experience he says he enjoyed.


But he insisted he doesn’t want to rush into a decision as he weighs up more playing time with Nigeria or potential European success with England.

“I’m very happy to be part of England’s youth setup right now, but I enjoyed training with Nigeria,” Eze told FourFourTwo.


“It’s a privilege to be involved with both, but I don’t want to make a decision yet – I just need to focus on QPR.”

Eze went on to discuss the areas of improvements he was to see in his game in the future.


And despite usually playing in attacking-midfield or on the wing, the 21-year-old said he wants to help out his backline more by improving his positioning when it comes to tracking back.

“Defensively, I could be better,” Eze added.

“It’s the last thing I want to do, as an attacking player, but my positioning when we lose the ball would help with that.

“Top players today need to be well-rounded – attackers don’t get away with being passengers. I’ve realised that more than ever this season.”


#NobleSport

Nigeria moved 4 places higher in FIFA rankings


Super Eagles of Nigeria has moved four places higher in the February FIFA rankings released, now occupying the 31st position in the world and are third in Africa.

The latest rankings were released on Wednesday, where Senegal remains the best on the continent and 20th in the world, while Tunisia moved up to 27th position.


Algeria (35th) and Morocco (43rd) complete the top five in Africa. Globally, Belgium remains the highest-ranked country in the world. France is in the second spot, while Brazil, England, and Uruguay make up the top five.

The Nigeria national football team, represents Nigeria in men’s international football nicknamed as the Super Eagles and it’s governed by the Nigeria Football Federation. They are three-time Africa Cup of Nations winners, with their most recent title in 2013, after defeating Burkina Faso in the final.


#Newsworthy…

Nike Reveals 2020 Nigeria Kit (Photos)


American sportswear giant, NIKE, has unveiled a new ‘Swoosh’ design for the Super Eagles ahead of their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations match-day three home qualifying encounter against Sierra Leone

Nigeria New Kit 2020

The ‘swoosh’ design comes as a worthy successor to the very ‘successful’ 2018 world cup kit that was much beloved by Super Eagles supporters.

Nike enjoyed unprecedented success with their previous Super Eagles design, which became one of the best selling jerseys in the company’s history following its release ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

The next stage of the World Cup qualifier will commence on March 23, 2020. The draw will be conducted on January 21.


#NobleSport

Ighalo to wear Number 25 in United


Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo will wear the number 25 jersey for Manchester United as the club prepares to unleash him against Chelsea after the winter break.

Odion Ighalo to wear No 25 for Manchester United as the Nigerian striker prepares for possible debut against Chelsea

The club on Tuesday posted a video of his new jersey number on it’s official Twitter handle, urging fans to buy the new jersey as it had been added to the club’s shop.

The shirt has not been in use since full back Antonio Valencia departed the Red Devils last summer.

Ighalo, a childhood Manchester United fan set to earn N62m weekly at the club, was signed for £3m from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua on loan for 6 months.


#NobleSport

Ighalo moves to Man Utd on loan ..


Manchester United have signed former Watford striker Odion Ighalo from Shanghai Shenhua on loan until the end of the season.

The deal to bring the 30-year-old Nigeria international to Old Trafford contains no option to buy.


Ighalo, who is still in China, scored 39 goals in 99 matches for Watford between 2014 and 2017.

Ighalo becomes the first Nigerian to play for Man United


#NobleSport

Victor Moses sign loan deal with Inter Milan


Victor Moses has signed for Inter Milan on a loan deal with an option to buy from Chelsea. NobleSport report

Moses is reuniting with former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, who he played a starring role for in the 2016-17 Premier League winning season.

The Nigerian winger spent the first half of the season at Turkish club Fenerbahce.


Conte used Moses as a right wing back after he changed the team’s formation to a 3-4-3 following early-season defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal.

The Italian coach has been scouting the Premier League to find the best players to fit his style of football and Moses is the fourth to arrive after former Manchester United trio Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez (on loan) and Ashley Young.

Victor Moses


Conte’s side also agreed on an option to buy Moses for €12m.

Moses is now embarking on his fifth loan move since joining Chelsea in 2012, it follows spells at Liverpool, Stoke, West Ham, Fenerbahce and Inter Milan.


#NobleSport