Chidera Ejuke Set for Russian Challenge

first_imgHis transfer to CSKA Moscow brings an end to speculation surrounding his future, with teams in France, Netherlands, Turkey and United Arab Emirates battling for his services following a banner season that saw him score 10 goals and set up six others in 29 games across all competitions.Ejuke’s medical with CSKA Moscow was scheduled for yesterday ahead of his unveiling as a new player of the club.Dutch club Heerenveen snapped up the former Nigeria U-17 star for two million Euros from Norwegian club Valerenga last year.They are expected to use the profit from this latest transfer to strengthen their team after several top stars were sold in the off-season.In just his first season in the Netherlands, Ejuke emerged Heerenveen’s best player, following several incredible displays which saw him smash the back of the net 10 times while making another four assists in the 25 games he played.But more than the goals, though, were the youngster’s dribbles.Of the players who played 10 league matches or more, Ejuke attempted and completed the most dribbles in the Eredivisie last term, cementing his rating as the best dribbler in the Netherlands.Turkish giants Galatasaray and Dutch champions Ajax had earlier been linked with an interest in the Nigerian winger, but he wants to focus on becoming a more productive player.“I scored 10 goals last season, and I intend to score more next season,” Ejuke told an online publication.“My desire is to improve further for the good of my team. Maybe getting into goal-scoring position more will mean dribbling less.“I want to dribble less and score more. It’s what I intend to do next season. As a player, constant improvement can’t be overruled.”Ejuke joined Heerenveen from Valerenga last summer for €2 million and has a contract tying him to the Dutch side until 2023.In spite of his recent rise, Ejuke still rued not able to impress when he went on trials at Liverpool four years ago.The former Nigeria U-20 starlet spoke of his frustration after failing to seize an opportunity to play for the Anfield outfit.The forward revealed he was scouted at the age of 18 and went on to have a trial with the Reds but failed to impress at Anfield and had to return to Nigeria disappointed.The 22-year-old, who shone for Heerenveen during the 2019-20 campaign, revealed the incident has always inspired him to perform better.When I was just 18-years-old and still living in Nigeria, there was a scouting programme on the other side of the country,” Ejuke told Voetbal.“I was picked out together with three peers by a scout from England. We were allowed to have a trial at Liverpool. It was the first time that I left my country and then also for an internship in my dream competition.“We were warmly welcomed at Liverpool. We did an internship there for a few weeks, it went pretty well, but I probably wasn’t good enough.“Liverpool was not interested and so we had to return to Nigeria. That was just as tough. This was the opportunity I had been dreaming about all these years and if it doesn’t work out, it’s bitter. It felt like I had let down my agent and my family.“If I had taken that chance, it would have been a different story, but it was a good experience. That missed opportunity became a source of motivation for me and it helped me grow as a player. I had tasted Europe and now I wanted more.”The forward left Nigeria in 2017 after playing for Gombe United in the NPFFL to start his European career in Norway with Valerenga.Ejuke made a key impact during his two-year stay with the Intility Arena outfit which saw a number of European clubs jostle for his signature.The winger, however, signed for Dutch club Heerenveen in the summer of 2019 after snubbing interests from Besiktas, Lazio and Roma.The forward has represented Nigeria at the U-17 and U-20 levels.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram With 10 goals and six assists in 29 matches and emerging as one of the top dribblers in the Dutch top-flight in just his first season, it came as no surprise that several top European clubs are on the trail of SC Heerenveen winger, Chidera Ejuke. Inspite of the Nigerian promising to continue improving on his game with Heerenveen he could not resist Russian giants CSKA Moscow when they came callingChidera Ejuke flew out to Russia on Wednesday to complete a 12 million Euros transfer to CSKA Moscow and will also do the routine medical and agree personal terms with the Russian club after Heerenveen and CSKA agreed on a transfer fee of 12 million Euros.Ejuke will be joining the 13-time Soviet Top League / Russian Premier League champions on a four-year deal that will keep him at the Muscovites until the end of the 2023-2024 season, subject to a traditional medical.The exciting winger boarded his flight to Moscow at approximately 1630 hours on Thursday afternoon and will be arriving in the Russian capital at 2255 hours.last_img read more

Adoree’ Jackson forgoes final season at USC

first_imgAs Martin Luther King Jr. Day approached last weekend, USC football fans felt an increasing sense of optimism about the status of junior cornerback Adoree’ Jackson. Jackson began attending classes for the spring semester and was regularly seen on campus and in the USC athletic facilities over the past week. The lack of chatter about a draft decision soothed many into believing that Jackson would be returning to the football team for his senior season in 2017.However, on Monday — the final day for eligible players to declare for the NFL Draft — Jackson announced via social media that he would be forgoing his senior season to enter the 2017 NFL Draft. Jackson’s announcement included an open letter addressed to the Trojan  Family regarding his decision. Jackson, a unanimous All-American in 2016, declared for the draft after a junior season in which he won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back and helped lead USC to its first Rose Bowl victory since 2009. With his decision, Jackson joins junior wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and junior guard Damien Mama as one of three Trojans who will be forgoing their senior season to enter the draft in April. “Thank you to the Trojan Family for embracing me and my family the way you guys did! Being a Trojan was the best time of my life and I’ll never ever forget my time here at USC,” Jackson said. “I hope you continue to support me throughout the rest of my career.”A triple threat for the Trojans, Jackson was the ultimate Swiss army knife during his collegiate career. In addition to reeling in five interceptions during his Thorpe Award-winning junior season with USC, Jackson finished his Trojan football career with 39 receptions for 628 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns. Over his career, Jackson established himself as arguably the top kick returner in USC football history. In 2016, Jackson was the only player in the nation to return multiple kickoffs and punts for touchdowns; he took two punts and two kickoffs to the house for a total of four return touchdowns his junior year, and he finished with eight in his collegiate career. Jackson leaves USC with the all-time record in kickoff return yardage (2,141 yards). His football portfolio at USC is flooded with iconic moments, all of which contributed to turning the Trojans back into a nationally relevant football program. USC’s run to a Rose Bowl Trophy was sparked by a plethora of big plays from Jackson. His interception on Oct. 8 against then-No. 21 Colorado is one that will live in highlight reels forever. He picked a pass from Colorado quarterback Steven Montez almost completely out of bounds, but then inexplicably found a way to spread his legs in mid-air to get a foot in-bounds for the interception. The play built up acclaim for Jackson and earned him hype for the Thorpe Award he would eventually win. His two-interception effort against No. 4 Washington on Nov. 12 helped propel USC to its biggest win of the regular season and get the Trojans back in the national spotlight. While Jackson’s football resume is extensive, perhaps the greatest exhibition of his dynamic abilities came against Notre Dame on Nov. 26. Against the Fighting Irish, Jackson scored a total of three touchdowns in three different ways: He had a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, a 55-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 52-yard touchdown reception. Jackson’s final performance in the Coliseum may have been his most impressive, as the Trojans defeated Notre Dame, 45-27, in the season-finale rivalry game. From his first game at the Coliseum in September 2014 against Fresno State, in which he caught a touchdown as a true freshman, to his heroic finale against the Irish, Jackson gave Trojan fans memorable plays on a regular basis. And when Jackson wasn’t cementing himself into Trojan football lore, he almost casually built up a winning legacy as a track and field athlete for USC. Jackson was the Pac-12 champion in long jump in 2015 and 2016. He missed football spring practices in 2016 as he attempted to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field team to compete in Rio as a long jumper. But beyond the innumerable merits, the All-Pac-12 honors, the remarkable interceptions and even the Thorpe Award, Jackson cherished one accolade above all during his time as a Trojan: bringing the Rose Bowl Trophy back to Heritage Hall.“It’s been an incredible three years playing for one of the great traditions in college football,” Jackson wrote about his collegiate career. “I made the best decision of my life when I chose to come to USC, and finishing it off with a Rose Bowl win is one of the best ways I could have ever hoped for it to end.”last_img read more