The former Watford hero is Nigeria’s biggest football name in the Arabian peninsula and possibly in the whole of Asia, but that could be put to the test by the arrival of a celebrated compatriot
Nigerian forward Anthony Nwakaeme has reportedly agreed to a deal to join Saudi Arabian Premier League side Al Ittihad, ending his successful four-year spell at Trabzonspor and 12-year stay in Europe for good.
Nwakaeme only recently powered Trabzonspor to the club’s first Super Lig triumph in almost four decades.
The 33-year-old made the most contribution – 13 goals and ten assists – of any Trabzonspor player as the Black Sea Storms beat all of Turkey’s most prominent teams to the league title.
But with his contract ending this summer and despite his heroic status with the club’s fans, Nwakaeme and Trabzonspor could not agree on an extension as the club refused to meet the attacker’s demands.
Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe, and Başakşehir were all linked with a move for the one-cap Nigeria international, but none could make a breakthrough in negotiations.
But, according to 61saat, as per Sabah, Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad have struck an agreement with Nwakaeme.
The current joint leaders of the Pro League have offered Nwakaeme a two-year contract plus an option for an extra year on a salary of 4.5 million euros per year. The former Hapoel Be’er Sheva forward finds the offer acceptable.
Al Ittihad have watched joint-leaders Al Hilal surge up the table thanks largely to the efforts of Super Eagles talisman and former Manchester United loanee Odion Ighalo. Ighalo is the Saudi league’s leading goalscorer with 22 combined goals for Al Hilal and Al Shabab.
But in Nwakaeme, Al Ittihad have acquired their own free-scoring Nigerian forward to rival their opponents.