NPFL: Egwuekwe, Akarandut top list of returnees to the league

NPFL: Egwuekwe, Akarandut top list of returnees to the league

The 2019/20 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season gets underway on Sunday in the country and here informs of ten players making a return to the league.

Most prominent among this set are World Cup participant Azubuike Egwuekwe and former league top scorer Akarandut Orok. There is also a return of former Sharks and Bayelsa United winger Gomo Onduku.

Akarandut Orok – Akwa United

After ten years out of the country, the 2008/09 NPFL topscorer Akarandut is back to his hometown club Akwa United. He scored 17 goals to finish as top scorer that season and left immediately for Tunisia before moving to Bahrain side Al Hidd five years later. He is one of the fifteen players unveiled by Akwa United on Monday. The goal King is back. Let’s see if the 32-year old still has the goals in him.

Azubuike Egwuekwe – Rivers United

2013 AFCON winner, Egwuekwe is back in the country after four years abroad.

He left his former club Warri Wolves after the 2015 season for a venture in Finland with KuPS before coming back to Africa to play for SuperSport and Al Nasr Benghazi. He has joined perennial underachievers Rivers United on a one-year deal. He will likely team up with his former national teammate Kunle Odunlami at the Port Harcourt based club.

Gomo Onduku – Abia Warriors

Onduku is back in the league after six years of sojourn in the backwaters of Europe. The left footed winger left in 2013 for Romania after a short stint with home state club Bayelsa United. He last played for Finnish club Ilves before deciding to retrace his steps back home where he has now joined Abia Warriors. He used to be a very delightful player I tell you.

Ifeanyi Ifeanyi – Akwa United

It didn’t work out well for former MFM FC midfielder Ifeanyi whose deal to Algerian side Enténté Setif was confirmed in January this year. I can’t precisely say what happened to this CHAN 2018 star in Algeria because he didn’t get to feature in many games.

What we know is that he is back to his former club Akwa United where he won the Aiteo Cup in 2017. We welcome back one of the best passers in the league.

Michael Ibe Okoro – Plateau United

Another former Akwa United star who also had a short stint abroad. Ibe just like Ifeanyi won the 2017 Aiteo Cup with Akwa United and early this year joined Jordanian side Al Karmel SC on a deal supposedly till summer of 2021.

Despite scoring a handful of goals for Karmel, this goalscoring midfielder is back home and has joined his former coach at Akwa United Abdu Maikaba at Plateau United.

Christian Pyagbara – Heartland

Pyagbara, once heralded as the Golden Boy of the league is back after one and half years of trying his luck in the Arab region. He signed a two year deal with AS Gabes of Tunisia in 2018 before landing in Saudi Arabia with Damac FC. The forward has now returned to join Fidelis Ilechukwu’s Heartland.

Tosin Omoyele – Plateau United

The abridged version of the league last term meant that Omoyele missed a full season despite spending just six months on loan at Egyptian side Nogoom. He is back to his parent club now after Nogoom got relegated at the end of last season with the striker unwilling to play in the second division.

Razak Adegbite – Sunshine Stars

Former Rangers striker Adegbite is back after playing for three clubs abroad within the space of two years. He left the shores of the land in 2017 after a brief spell at Kano Pillars in a move to Northern Cyprus.

The former Rangers star spent the past year in Angola where he featured for Primero de Agosto and Desportivo da Hulla. He has joined Sunshine Stars of Akure.

Raphael Ayagwa – Lobi Stars

Ayagwa is back at his home state club after an unproductive spell in Norway with Lillestrom SK. He joined the Norwegian side from Plateau United in August 2018 but failed to start a single game, making a couple of cameo appearances in league and cup games. The central midfielder is one to look forward to seeing at the Aper Aku Stadium.

Guy Keumian – Abia Warriors

Though an Ivorian, Keumian left Nigeria last year after spending three seasons with Port Harcourt based Rivers United. He returned home to join ASEC Mimosas, a club he played for in the 2019 CAF Champions League (against Lobi Stars last term).

Well, he is back in Nigeria now and has signed on the dotted lines with Warriors. Welcome back the skillful centre forward.

There are quite some more that I may not have touched, but let me stop at these ten for now. Let’s hope many of these guys still have the quality to thrill us for the remainder of the season.

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