September 25, 2021

Has Grealish-like Simy Nwankwo made a transfer error?

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The Nigeria striker appeared to have a litany of transfer opportunities after least season’s goal haul

Simy Nwankwo headed into this summer’s transfer window on the back of the most magnificent season of his career, and he appeared to have the world at his feet.

The towering frontman may have been relegated with Crotone, but he still netted a whopping 20 goals in a vain attempt to keep the Sharks in the division.

It was an outstanding haul for a team who found themselves on the back foot in the majority of games in which they played.

For context, his return of 20 goals made him the all-time top Nigerian scorer in a single season across Europe’s major five leagues, while the striker is also now the all-time top scorer in the Italian Serie A.

He’s no one-season wonder either, having previously scored seven goals in the Italian top flight with Crotone during the 2017-18 season.

He stuck with the Sharks on that occasion, remaining faithful when they dropped into the second tier, and then proving influential as he fired them back into the top flight.

Upon his return to the top tier in 2020-21, he demonstrated that he truly belonged at that level—and in an environment more elevated than Crotone.

There were parallels with Jack Grealish, who had stuck with Aston Villa when they dropped into the second tier—after initially excelling in the Prem—and then proved his class again in the top flight after remaining loyal with the Midlanders in the Championship.

However, whereas Grealish ultimately secured a £100 million move to Champions League finalists and reigning English champions Manchester City, Simy ultimately secured an anti-climatic offseason move to Salernitana.

It feels like an utterly sideways transfer for the Super Eagles frontman, who had earlier been linked with teams in the Premier League and Serie A during the offseason.

At one point, he was linked with a move to Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma, with the ex-Tottenham Hotspur coach having identified the hitman as an ideal replacement for Edin Dzeko.

Simy can perhaps be excited about the prospect of playing alongside France legend Franck Ribery, who has also penned a deal with the Garnets, but surely—like Grealish—he should have capitalised on such a magnificent season, and been rewarded for his loyalty, by securing a move to the very pinnacle of the game.

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