Nigerian midfielder Okechukwu Azubuike is hoping that his experience at Turkish side Yeni Malatyaspor will come in handy as he hopes to rescue his new club Çaykur Rizespor from the jaws of relegation.
Azubuike was presented to the public by Rizespor on Friday after completing a loan deal from Egyptian side Pyramids which will see him feature for the struggling Super Lig side till the end of the 2018/19 league season.
The defensive midfielder is beginning a ‘second missionary journey’ to Turkey and he told www.aclsports.com of his delight at a return to the league he is quite familiar with after his presentation.
“I’m happy coming back to Europe and then Turkey,” began Azubuike to www.aclsports.com
“I know the league and there’s a lot of experienced players in the league, that way I can improve.”
Rizespor are bottom of the Super Lig table, two points adrift of safety despite winning their last three league games. The former Nigeria Under-23 captain says he is not foreign to the situation and will bank on his experience to help his new team survive.
“I was once in that situation with Yeni at the bottom of the table, but of course I can help in the middle to intercept balls and help start the attack which will be the building block to victories. That way we can stay in the league,” added the 21-year old.
Just as it was the case when Azubuike featured for Yeni Malatyaspor, there are two other Nigerians at his new club. Striker Aminu Umar who was Azubuike’s teammate at the 2016 Rio Olympics is a major part of the team, scoring the winner in their last league game while Super Eagles defender Chidozie Awaziem joined the club early in the week.
The former Bayelsa United midfielder believes the duo will help him settle down quickly in Rizespor.
“Umar has been here and Chidozie just came also. We’ve been talking since I came and Umar was with me until 12am last night, they’re helping me adapt and will further help me too. It also helps that I am not entirely new in this country so I should settle in fast,” submitted the midfielder.
Azubuike started training with his new teammates on Friday and will hope to be in the Match day squad when Çaykur Rizespor face Akhisarspor in a relegation six-pointer at the Çaykur Didi Stadium on Sunday.