Transfers: Emmanuel Emenike, Obafemi Martins, John Ogu and the Top 10 Nigeria players still without a club.
The European transfer window may have been closed but there are Nigeria internationals that are free agents and are still on the lookout for clubs to join.
There are hundreds of footballers of Nigeria descent who are unattached as the European league season kicks into full gear. Soccernet.ng brings you your one-time favourite Super Eagles stars who have found themselves cast aside at the top level of world football.
Nigeria’s first continental victory since 1994 would not have been possible if not for Emmanuel Emenike’s four goals. The burly striker grabbed the Pepsi Tournament Top Scorer as the Super Eagles lifted the 2013 African Cup of Nations.
That seemed like aeons ago now as Emenike, who last played for Greek club Olympiacos, is currently without a club.
Victor Anichebe won a silver medal with Nigeria’s Dream Team at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. But he later quit the national team after missing out on the Super Eagles contingent to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa despite putting in decent performances during the qualifiers.
At 31 years of age, it’s hard to believe that no top club would want to sign the former Everton wonderkid who was only recently released from his contract by Beijing Enterprises.
Once of Inter Milan and Newcastle, Obafemi Martins was at a time the darling of all Super Eagles fans. “Weapon of mass destruction” some commentators fondly called him.
Martins won the Serie A title, the Italian Cup (twice), and the Italian Super Cup, all with Inter before scoring the winning goal to help Birmingham the 2011 Football League Cup. A successful spell in England also saw him lift the UEFA Intertoto Cup with Newcastle.
Martins was in the Super Eagles squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2006, 2008 and 2010, and for the FIFA World Cup in 2010. He has gone on to play in the MLS and in China and is not thinking of hanging his boots just yet despite being without a club.
Seen by many as a one-tournament wonder that took the 2013 Africa Nations Cup by storm, Sunday Mba won hearts of the fans of the green and white when he engineered a continental triumph for the country from the midfield.
But before that glorious year, however, Mba was a member of the Nigeria Team B that won the 2010 WAFU Nations Cup. The midfielder last played club football for Yeni Malatyaspor in the Turkish Super Liga.
Having been released by Lille in August 2018, 36-year-old former Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama went on an unsuccessful trial at French Ligue 1 side Dijon with the aim of securing a return to competitive action.
Arguably the Super Eagles greatest goalkeeper of all time, Enyeama won 101 caps (joint most ever), captained the Eagles to 2013 AFCON triumph and was a veteran of two FIFA World Cup Finals.
Once ranked as the number 1 footballer in Israel, John Ogu has won it all in God’s Beloved Country: Israeli Super Cup, Toto Cup and the Israeli League twice. Ogu was part of the Eagles team that claimed bronze medal at the 2019 AFCON.
After the expiration of his contract in Israel, Ogu left to seek better opportunities in Western Europe. He and his agent are still searching.
An ever reliable presence in that all-conquering 2013 AFCON Super Eagles, Ondo-born Godfrey Oboabona was once linked with a sensational move to Arsenal.
But that continental victory would be the highlight of a career that flickered briefly at Turkish club Çaykur Rizespor and dimmed at HNK Gorica of Croatia.
Victor Obinna Nsofor
As a teenager, Victor Obinna Nsofor tasted early victory in football by winning gold with the Flying Eagles at the 2005 African Youth Tournament in Benin Republic. He thereafter made Nigeria’s squad for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing where he won a silver medal.
Last seen on a football pitch in Cape Town City, South Africa under the management of former West Ham teammate Benni McCarthy, Obinna would seemingly do anything to get a contract from anywhere in Europe.
When Elderson Echiejile penned a four-and-a-half-year deal with AS Monaco FC in 2015, it was to be the beginning of greater things but one year after, Echiéjilé moved to Belgian club Standard Liège on a season-long loan.
It’s been downhill from there. Echiejile, a member of the 2013 AFCON title, parted ways with Finnish club Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi HJK in June 2019 after spending only three months at the club. He’s been club-less since.
Still remembered as the first Nigerian player to be sent off in a World Cup match, Sani Kaita has been a free agent for two years after being released from RoPS at the end of the 2017 season.
The Kano-born midfielder caught the eye when playing all seven matches for Nigeria U-20 at the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup in the Netherland where a Mikel Obi-inspired side picked a silver medal.
However, Kaita has never been able to rise from the ashes since that World Cup red card, that allowed Greece to score their first World Cup goals, and win their first match in the World Cup against the Super Eagles.