Nigeria’s Anthony Nwakaeme has rejected big money offers from China in order to stay in contention to play for the Super Eagles again. Instead he has moved to Turkish club Trabzonspor on a three-year deal from Israeli champions Hapoel Be’er Sheva. “Everything is not about money, there is also the possibility of staying in contention for a place with Nigeria,” the 29-year-old told BBC Sport. “I am a very competitive person and I love to challenge myself.” He joins compatriot Ogenyi Onazi at the six-time Turkish champions.
“Trabzonspor has big ambitions and as a professional footballer this is what I need,” he added. “I saw the opening game of the season, I love the amazing atmosphere, fans and stadium here.”
Nwakaeme, who began his European career in Romania, had a successful three-year spell at Hapoel Be’er Sheva winning three successive league titles as well as lifting the Israeli Cup twice. His form in Israel caught the attention of Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr and earned a call-up to the Super Eagles squad for their 2018 World Cup qualifiers in August 2017. Nwakaeme was an unused substitute in three games before making his debut against Algeria in Novembe. Unlike his compatriot and teammate in Israel John Ogu, he was omitted from the final squad to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.