Akpala Joins Growing Legion In Saudi Arabia


Former Super Eagles striker, Joseph Akpala has joined the growing legion of Nigerian stars moving to Saudi Arabia, as he on Friday sealed a deal with Al Faisaly in the Middle East oil rich country.

The former Club Brugge and Racing Charleroi of Belgium striker, who was Nigerian league top scorer before he went abroad, signed a year’s deal at Faisaly with an option to extend for a further season.

The deal was completed before the close of the transfer window on Thursday, after he passed medical tests same morning in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

It is another step forward for Akpala, who started his career at Bendel United then moved to Bendel Insurance and was joint top scorer in the league with Timothy Anjembe in 2005.

The 31-year-old, who last season played 40 games for KV Oostende of Belgium, scoring nine goals, has also played for Werder Bremen of Germany and Karabükspor of Turkey.

Akpala, who was released by Oostende at the end of his contract, arrives in Saudi Arabia from NK Olimpija Ljubljana of Slovenia after a short loan spell with Israeli side FC Ashdod.

He becomes the third Nigerian player moving to the Saudi Professional League after Musa swapped Leicester City for Al Nassr in the summer and Paul Onobi joined Al Jodoom.

Akpala, who notched nine goals in 40 games for Oostende, will begin life with Al Faisaly Harmah in a clash against Al Batin in their opener next Friday.

He could be thinking of a recall to the Super Eagles, after seven international appearances for Nigeria and scored one goal for the three-time African Champions, which came during a shock 1-0 friendly win against France in Paris.


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