Name: Emmanuel Emenike
International Caps: 22
A player long linked with a move to the Premier League, rumours have surfaced in recent weeks that suggest Emenike is attracting interest from Arsenal and Tottenham. Despite only transferring to the Turkish giants last summer, speculation around the 27 year old refuses to go away. The forward, considered one of the Super Eagles‘ star players, is expected to start once again against Argentina this afternoon.
Emenike has cemented his position in manager Stephen Keshi’s starting eleven in recent years. After several seasons languishing in South African football, Turkish side Karabukspor gambled on the forward and he hasn’t looked back since. The Nigerian has thrived since moving into European football and has been on the move several more times, with a two year spell at Spartak Moscow sandwiched by stints at current club Fenerbahce.
Arriving at the World Cup, much as expected of Emenike but it took until the second match of the tournament for the 27 year old to get going. Conspicuous by his absence against Iran, the forward posed a constant menace to the Bosnian and Herzegovinian defence who simply couldn’t handle the 27 year old’s dangerous combination of pace and power. Emenike supplied the cross in that game for the Peter Odemwingie’s winner.
Despite his stature, the forward is more than capable of occupying the wide roles as well as the central striking duties. The 27 year old clearly loves to run with the ball at his feet, so far averaging 5.5 dribbles per game at the World Cup. In 23 starts at Fenerbahce this season, the Nigerian managed a healthy return of 12 goals.
Having only recently re-signed with the Turkish giants, the rumoured price tag will likely prove a serious stumbling block for any side interested in the forward. At the age of 27 too, Arsenal and Tottenham will probably conclude that there are better alternatives on the market. But if Emenike continues to impress rather than frustrate with Nigeria this summer, it wouldn’t be a surprise if a move to the Premier League presented itself sooner rather than later.
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