Football

Pinnick watches Etebo’s first training after joining Watford on loan

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Melvin Pinnick was present in England when Super Eagles midfielder, Oghenekaro Etebo trained with Watford for the first time after joining the club on loan.

The FIFA Council Member, was in ecstasy at Hertfordshire as he watched the Stoke City star train alongside other Nigerian players in the Hornets squad.

“Watford FC is gradually becoming a Super Eagles’ camp,” said a beaming Pinnick as he met with Club’s Technical Director, Cristiano Giaretta. “I told Mr Giaretta that we have six players at Watford FC now and three of them are regular Super Eagles teamers and therefore, we need to forge a stronger relationship with the club. Watford is returning to the Premiership in the coming season, so it is a good feeling all around.”

Super Eagles’ Deputy skipper William Ekong, forward Emmanuel Dennis, former junior internationals Isaac Success and Tom Dele-Bashiru, and little-known Dapo Mebude will line-up alongside Etebo for the 2021/22 season following Watford’s promotion to the Premier League.

Between 2014 and 2017, former Super Eagles’ star Jude Odion Ighalo (top scorer at the 2019 AFCON) pulled up some trees at Watford FC, scoring a total of 36 goals in 90 matches in all for the Hornets.

“It is important to build these relationships. I am scheduled to meet with the Club President and CEO of Watford FC in the coming weeks, and I also plan to meet with the CEOs of Leicester and Everton FC. We are looking ahead to the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and the 2021 AFCON taking place early next year and relationships, understanding and mutual respect are key elements in the mix of release and return of players.”

Etebo who played on loan last season for Turkey’s Galatasaray has been a key figure in the Super Eagles’ set-up since impressing at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, where the U-23 team won a bronze medal at the games.

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