Before this morning, I couldn’t have told you who Henry Onyekuru is.
Even with my knowledge of football, gleaned from a long history of watching every game on TV and buying foreign stars in Football Manager (haha. You can read the story of my obsession here) he’s one who never crossed my radar. Now I feel like I could give a seminar on him.
He’s 19, he plays in Belgium, for K.A.S Eupen.
He is allegedly being monitored by a phalanx of top clubs across the continent.
He is “owned” by a Dubai based club called Aspire – who use Eupen as their proving ground and clearing house.
He has scored ten goals in 20 odd games and has six assists to boot.
And he has a big mouth.
There are two ways to look at this; either we really are interested in him, and he’s just made that public without our consent or that of his club or we’re not and he’s at it. Typical that a certain Scottish paper pulled this story out of the ether and then wrote a follow up hours later in which we were said to have been snubbed. Ignore that for the moment.
There seems little doubt that the player spoke to media outlets in Africa.
How do you reckon the Scottish press stumbled upon such an interview? It was probably sent to them, press release style, by someone representing the player. Which means he’s using us to leverage himself a move to England, whose league he copiously lauds in the article.
Whatever the truth of this, he’s not a guy who would see the club as anything more than a stepping stone. That might well be true of other players we sign or have signed, but none was publicly expressing it to the media before an offer had even been accepted by their clubs.
The game is full of these people – mercenaries – and they disrupt squads everywhere.
We are club that does things in a professional way. Transfer business is low key business, because otherwise it becomes a free for all. I would rather we only signed players who handle their business affairs in a similar fashion.
He’s probably a decent enough player, but it takes more than that to make it. He says he would love a move to England, like his friend who went to Leicester, but he would prefer Arsenal. Hmmm. Well I wish him luck in getting there.
It ought not to be via Celtic Park.