Author Archives: Anthony Craig

Victor Osimhen impresses Wolfsburg coach

Victor Osimhen

The long wait for Victor osimhen to make his debut this season is over. Wolfsburg played at home against Mainz and Osimhen came in the 84th minute for Divock Origi.

The coach of Wolfsburg, Martin Schmidt, decided to feature Osimhen in the match because of his dedication and abilities in training. Schmidt espoused Osimhen’s skills in Wolfsburger Allgemeine, ” it was a decision for Victor. He trained very well and scored the most goals. He is the most effective runner and i wanted to reward him.”

It appears that Schmidt is now a fan of Osimhen. The 18 year old Nigerian is still learning the ropes but Osimhen has been able to break the pecking order in Mario Gomez’s absence. Landry Dimata who is contending for the position did not make it to the bench against Mainz.

It is still unknown, if Osimhen will play in Wolfsburg’s next match against Bayer Leverkusen. Because the injured Mario Gomez could make his comeback in the match.

If Osimhen is injury free and continues to work hard with dedication, he will definitely see his dreams come to fruition in the Bundesliga.

Naby Keita is a fashionista!

Naby Keita

Naby Keita is currently facing a three match ban from Bundesliga matches after a rough tackle on Christopher Krammer of Borussia Mönchengladbach two weeks ago. However, the ban did not stop him from watching RB Leipzig play.

The Liverpool bound player came to the stadium against Eintracht Frankfurt in style. Sportbild reported that he was the center of attention.

It is estimated that the clothes costs €2880. Ranging from Breuninger to Louis Vuitton.

Leipzig will be playing Cologne during the weekend, and do not be surprised, if Keita, comes to the stadium with another eye-catcher.

Victor Osimhen still waiting for his chance at VFL Wolfsburg

Victor Osimhen

When Victor Osimhen signed for Wolfsburg earlier this year, it was based on a commitment to gradually integrate in to the team. Despite his huge talent , Osimhen is yet to see action.

The reason for his inability to wear the wonderful colors of Wolfsburg is based on one factor alone-lack of chance.

Wolfsburg has seen officials sacked faster then the speed of light. Valerien Ismael, who was the coach when Osimhen was signed last season, is no longer there. Andries Jonker, who barely saved Wolfsburg from relegation last season was recently fired. The sports director who gave the green light for Osimhen to sign for Wolfsburg, Klaus Allofs was sacked. Martin Schmidt is the new coach in Wolfsburg.

Given the changes that Wolfsburg have experienced in 9 months, it is difficult for Osimhen to convert the confidence garnered through months of training and discipline to any successful conclusion. Because he had to start all over again with a new coach. Osimhen made it to the bench for three matches so far this season.

Recently, Mario Gomez of Wolfsburg was injured and out for at least a month. His position became available. However, the following players, including Osimhen, were contesting for the position. They are Landry Dimata, Paul-Geroges Ntep and Kaylen Hinds.

Despite the circumstances, Osimhen has taken it in stride and hopes for a better day. Who knows, if he finally get his chance to play for Wolfsburg, may be he could soar like a super eagle.

Daniel Opare discovers his form in Augsburg

Daniel Opare
Photo:Ulrich Wagner

I wrote about Daniel Opare during the pre-season. Well, his fortunes have changed for the better in FC Augsburg.

Last Saturday, Opare played his first match in a competitive tournament since May 2016 for Augsburg. And they beat Cologne 3-0.

During the pre-season and at the beginning of the 2017/2018 season Bundesliga, Opare was already written off as a player who failed to integrate in Augsburg. He had problems with his favorite position that was held by the captain of the team, Paul Verhaegh.

His circumstances changed when Paul Verhaegh left Augsburg for Wolfsburg, and in the match against Cologne, Raphael Framberger, could not play because he had a knee problem.Suddenly Opare became the only available choice against Cologne.

Opare grabbed the chance and in the match against Cologne, he was attentive in duels and reduced his mistakes to the minimum. The sports director, Stefan Reuter described his development ” he has worked on himself to reduce his carelessness, and risky action in defense. He left a good impression from the first day of training and he is very positive person.”

After waiting on the sidelines for so long, Opare has finally arrived in Augsburg.

The latest trends in the Bundesliga

The transfer window closed last week in the Bundesliga, and there are some noticeable changes in the way clubs react in the market for players. Football as we know it today is big business and the Neymar effect is palpable in the transfers. Many clubs are trying to stay afloat by taking proactive measures in hiring new players and selling old players for profit. A t the end of the day, the clubs, agents and players are all business people.

According to the estimates calculated by German news agency(DPA) from the transfer window, German clubs spent a total of 570 Million Euro for 130 players, which is an increase from last year that was placed at 512,59 million Euro. The amount here, does not reflect the fees from leased players. Furthermore the clubs earned some good money from selling players, like the 105 million Euro earned by Dortmund from the sale of Ousmane Dembele. A total of 485 million Euro was earned during the transfer deals made by Bundesliga clubs excluding bonuses.

It has become expensive for clubs facing a cash crunch to acquire new players. Because clubs with lots of cash are enticing players with numerous offers despite the UEFA’s policy of financial fair play(FFP). To ameliorate the problem, many Bundesliga clubs are now hiring players by leasing, and a buy option.

Take the case of Bayern Munich. Bayern spent 41,5 Million Euro for the French man Corentin Tolisso He is the most expensive Bayern player so far. They also have James Rodriguez from Real Madrid. Bayern could have paid more for Rodriguez but opted for leasing him from Madrid.

Werder Bremen signed Algeria’s Ishak Belfodil at the last minute before the transfer window closed. Bremen opted for leasing to reduce cost. Bremen will pay Standard Lütttich, ome million Euro for a year with option to buy for 10 million Euro.

The examples above are just a tip of the iceberg. Leasing with option to buy has become the new normal. The value of a player becomes directly proportional to his efforts. And in cases where the chemistry between the player and club is conducive, the buy option is the only way out of the contract. It helps clubs to mitigate the cost and reduce the risks of buying players outright who might not be the best in the long run.

Although some clubs regard FFP as a paper tiger, many players are not honoring contracts anymore. Ousmane Dembele comes to mind. He forced his way out of Dortmund. Dembele’s exit created so much drama.

RB Leipzig has come up with a novel idea to avoid tension with Naby Keita who wants to leave the club as soon as possible. They announced an amicable deal with FC Liverpool on time to erase all doubts for parties involved upfront. Already, the FC Liverpool are paying some amount of money to Leipzig. The main transfer money which is approximately 55 Million Euro would be paid in 2018. Now, Keita can concentrate on leaving Leipzig on a high, and improving the lot of RB Leipzig.

There was a time when Brazilian players like Lucio, Ze Roberto, Marcelinho, Elber, Dunga or Dede were houshold names in the Bundesliga. In fact Bayer Leverkusen had a special scouting department for Brazilian players. The era when Brazil used to be the destination of Bundesliga clubs for recruitment of players is gone with the wind.

Enter France as the new attractive destination of Bundesliga clubs. The French players are regarded as physically robust, and tactically well trained. Also, the players are affordable.The list of players from France contain budding stars like Abdou Diallo, Corentin Tolisso,Ibrahima konate, Dan-Axel Zagadou, Amine Harit or Sebastien Haller etc. They all have one thing in common-hunger for success.

The commercialization of football is on the rise, and who knows, maybe the famous 50+1 rule could be a thing of the past in the Bundesliga soon. The playing times have been revised to make the league attractive for television viewers world wide. The present discord between die-hard fans and managers of the game is not an intractable problem.

However, modernization in the name of commerce must not override the attractiveness, passion and success of the beautiful game in the Bundesliga.

Werder Bremen needs a striker real fast. Is Paul Onuachu the answer ?

paul onuachu

It is still early days in the Bundesliga but Werder Bremen have a problem. They do not have the strikers to convert chances in to goals.

The dearth of quality strikers might be Bremen’s undoing this season. Gone are the days, when they had Bundesliga legends like Ailton or Pizzaro.

Bild reported that Bremen is interested in Paul Onuachu’s services. He is a 23 year old Nigerian striker playing for Danish team FC Midtjylland.

Onuachu’s perfomance so far in the Danish league is promising. He has played a total of 120 games and scored 42 times for his club.

Despite Bremen’s interest, the sport director of FC Midtjylland, Claus Steinlein told the Danish paper, Ekstrabladet,”Paul would not be sold in this transfer period.” He also said there is no official offer from Bremen.

It has been speculated in German papers that FC Midtjylland wants at least 10 million Euro for Onuachu before talks could begin.

Bremen’s sports director,Frank Baumann, said in kicker“we would only do something, if it fits, we are convinced about the character of the player, and the price is affordable.”

The main snag is the cash crunch that Bremen is facing. Onuachu is an option for their desolate attack.

Marcel Tisserand replaces injured John Anthony Brooks temporarily in Wolfsburg.


VFL Wolfsburg have found a replacement for the injured American central defender, John Anthony Brooks. They have signed Marcel Tisserand of FC Ingolstadt until the end of the season.

Given that Brooks injury will last 3 months before he could play again, the officials in Wolfsburg had to look for a viable player that fits the profile of the club.

The 24 year old French- Congolese, played for FC Ingolstadt last season but could not prevent the club from relegation.

Tisserand has been given the number 29 jersey.

Naby Keita’s days are numbered at RB Leipzig

Naby Keita

Naby Keita, had a wonderful time last season for Leipzig. The 22 year old was resolute in midfield and stark in attack. It was no surprise that FC Liverpool came calling for his services. They offered 75 million Euro but was turned down by Leipzig.

According to the latest statement of the sports director, Ralf Rangnick to BILD, “Naby has the option theoretically to leave the club next season. I assume that he plays another stark season, especially in the Champions league, and there would be big clubs that he is interested in. It would be difficult to keep him.”

Leipzig are trying to extend Keita’s contract that is dotted with an exit clause of 50 million Euro next season. Unfortunately they have not been successful.

It appears his days at Leipzig might come to an end next season with a caveat-stark performance during the season.

Kevin Akpoguma returns to action after horror injury.

Kevin Akpoguma

Kevin Akpoguma celebrated his comeback to the beautiful game, in a test match between TSG Hoffenheim against FC Bologna in the 74th minute recently.

Akpoguma’s comeback is the climax of hardwork, miracle, and hope that he could play football again.

Because he sustained an injury 15 weeks ago, while on loan for Fortuna Dusseldorf last season. His first cervical vertebra was broken. And there were fears that it could lead to paralysis.

Luckily, he was able to survive the injury and has been training with his team for three weeks now.

In the match against Bologna, he was match rusty. He is expected to recover gradually to his old form.

Sidney Sam accepts his fate at Schalke

Sidney Sam

Sidney Sam is facing a difficult time at Schalke because he has become surplus to requirements. The new coach,Domenico Tedesco, informed Sam that he is not in his plans for the season.

The 29 years old Sam did not go with his team mates to pre season training camp in Austria.

Sam accepts his situation with the following comments in kicker, ” the coach wants to train with the players he aims to work with for the season. I have accepted the wish of the coach and i am concentrating on finding another club.”

Sam was sent to Darmstadt on loan last season. His contract with Schalke will end in 2018.