NIGERIA’S contingent of players on the English Premier League is on the rise as midfielder Frank Onyeka just signed a five year contract with newcomers Brentford while Everton are looking to sign Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze.
Yesterday, Brentford made Onyeka, 23, their first signing of the summer as he joined from Danish side Midtjylland, where Bees owner Matthew Benham is the majority shareholder, for an undisclosed fee. Onyeka, who has passed a medical and received a work permit, has signed a five-year contract in west London.
Brentford coach Thomas Frank, said: “Frank plays as an eight in our system. He is very good at getting from box to box and will be valuable to us when we don’t have the ball.
“He has come from the Danish league and was one of the best midfield players in that league, so we think he has the potential to develop further. All the coaches here are looking forward to working with Frank and pushing him to a higher level.”
Everton for their part are looking to sign Chukwueze as a possible replacement for Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez who is wanted by Real Madrid. Former Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti is now the head coach at Madrid and is looking to bring the Colombian to the Nou Camp.
Rodriguez, who came from Real Madrid, had a great season under Ancelotti helping the Toffees enjoy a remarkable run of games during the first half of the campaign. He still has a year left on his two-year deal at Goodison Park but that is an option he is no longer interested in taking up.
Chukwueze played an influential role for Villarreal last season as the Yellow Submarines won the Europa League for the first time in the club’s history. However, the Spanish giants have transfer-listed the 22-year-old as they pursue other transfer targets fit for manager Unai Emery’s plans.
Marseille and Atletico Madrid are among the clubs keeping tabs on Chukwueze, with Liverpool and Chelsea also known long-term admirers of the former Golden Eaglets hero. Chukwueze was part of the Nigeria squad that finished third in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and was listed as one of Uefa’s 50 young players to watch in 2019/20 alongside the likes of Erling Haaland, Alphonso Davies, Ferran Torres, Sandro Tonali and Rhian Brewster.