By Denzel Alilionwu
The transfer window is well and truly on and already we have seen blockbuster moves. Manchester United and Jose Mourinho got Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrickh Mikyitaryan in addition to the acquisition of Eric Bailey. Their city rivals Manchester secured the services of Nolito and Ilkay Gundogan
Arsenal have only so far bought Granit Xhaka although there are rumours making the rounds that Gonzalo Higuain, Alexandre Lacazette and/or Riyad Mahrez will head to the Emirates.
Tottenham Hotspur bough Vincent Jansenn and Victor Wanyama. West Ham United got a deal done for Sofiane Feghouli. and so many, many other confirmed deals but the latest that have seen the media go into overdrive is the transfer of N’golo Kante from title winners Leicester to Chelsea for 32 million pounds on Saturday.
The impact of Kante’s move on the future of John Mikel Obi at Chelsea is a topic for another day. Lest I forget, slew of Nigerian players have signed or are on the verge of penning contracts at new clubs. Fred Friday for instance has signed for AZ Alkmaar as a direct replacement for Janssen who crossed over to England. Former Flying Eagles forward Daniel Uchechi signed for Boreham Woods.
In other parts of Europe Samuel Umtiti and Lucas Digne both left Lyon and PSG for Barcelona…so many to recount
Gone are the days that only Champions League football is the only incentive for players to sign for other clubs. The case of great players opting for the riches in the Chinese Super League best explains this narrative.
Meanwhile former AC Milan and Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko was named Ukraine’s coach last week while Patrick Kluivert became the Football Director at PSG.
There is still a long time to go before the transfer window shuts and there will be more eye catching transfers.
The Euro 2016 has ended but the Championship is still being talked about by football fans. The pay tv channels are still showing highlights of the matches in France and how Portugal’s conquest.
There were positives and negatives from Euro 2016. The emergence of underdogs like Wales and Iceland added excitement, big players and promising ones lived up to expectations, There was team unity on display above individual talents. On the flip side however, there were crowd troubles, England showing once again their players are overrated, and the curse of the yellow card rules ensuring star players miss key players for their teams in the latter part of the Champinship.
Now, the attention is on pre season games. Chelsea started on a losing note, defeated 2-0 by Rapid Vienna but Man United were winners (5-0) Wigan Athletic. There is the International Champions Cup (ICC) which begins on Friday and the Audi Cup for us to feast our eyes on. Bayern Munich without injured Arjen Robben take on Manchester City at the Allianz Arena 6-30pm on Wednesday.
The 2016/2017 season is coming ever closer but sadly the recent slump in FIFA rankings of Nigeria to an all-time low 70th position could see Super Eagles players unable to play for their Premier league players if Nigeria further suffer the ignominy of sliding on the FIFA ranking ladder. That’s what the rules say. Sad.