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Nigerian Players Abroad

Mikel back in action for Tianjin Teda
John Obi Mikel has put his injury woes behind him by making a successful return to first team action for Chinese club Tianjin Teda.

The Super Eagles midfielder played the full 90 minutes of Tianjin’s 2-0 loss at home to Hebei CFFC on Monday afternoon.

It was the 30-year-old’s first match for his club since scoring in a 2-0 win over Chongqing Dangdai Lifan back in early April.

With Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr set to reveal his squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon, Mikel’s return could see him named in the German’s selection.

Tianjin will also be relieved to have the West African back in the action, having slipped into the Chinese Super League’s relegation zone.

Sadiq set for Torino switch


Torino are on the verge of signing Roma’s Nigerian striker Umar Sadiq on loan, with a view to signing him permanently.

According to respected Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, the 20-year-old will head to Torino on a season-long loan, with the club having the option to buy him outright in 2018 for a fee of €6m.

However, Roma have inserted a buy-back clause in the contract, allowing them to reclaim the Nigerian for €8m.

Sadiq is expected to undergo a medical, before completing the switch to Toro.

The Nigerian U-23 international has also represented Spezia and Bologna in his senior club career.

Afolabi’s brace downs Reading


Nigerian striker Jonathan Afolabi bagged a brace for Southampton in their 4-0 rout of Reading in the opening round of the Premier League Division Two on Monday night at St Mary’s Stadium.

The Republic of Ireland youth-teamer made it 2-0 in the 25th minute, before Nigerian defender Gabriel Osho, who skippered the Royals U23s, netted an own goal to increase the lead for the Saints.

On the hour mark, Afolabi wrapped up the scoring when he slammed home from another delivery by Tyreke Johnson.

“We are all buzzing after that result,” Afolabi told reporters.

“It was a great performance from everyone. We put in a shift right from the beginning tonight and got the reward for it.

“Personally, I was really pleased to also get two goals. It was a good way to boost my confidence and start the season.”

The 17-year-old Afolabi was on the books of St. Josephs Boys before he penned a scholarship deal with Southampton in July 2016.

Charlton Athletic in hot chase for ‘terrific’ Akinde


Charlton Athletic are interested in signing Barnet frontman John Akinde in the summer transfer window.

According to reports, Addicks boss Karl Robinson is in the market for a striker following the departure of Tony Watt, who joined Belgium club Oud-Heverlee Leuven.

The 28-year-old Akinde is widely regarded as Nigeria’s best striker not playing in the English Premier League, with 80 league goals to his name from 134 appearances in the last three years.

Charlton Athletic face competition from Queens Park Rangers for the signature of the Nigerian.

He previously wore the jerseys of Bristol City, Wycombe Wanderers, Bristol Rovers, Dagenham & Redbridge and Crawley Town among others.

Blues confirm jersey numbers for Nigerian wonderkids


Premier League champions Chelsea have published on their official webpage the revised squad numbers for their Development squad in last night’s Checkatrade Trophy clash with Plymouth Argyle.

England U20 World Cup-winning central defender Fikayo Tomori has retained the jersey number he wore in last weekend’s clash against Burnley in the Premier League.

The former Chelsea Academy Player of the Year will suit up with the number 31 kit.

Versatile midfielder Tariq Uwakwe, otherwise known as the new Mikel Obi, will wear the number 68 shirt.

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