Super Eagles’ defender, Chidozie Awaziem is bound to get instant reward for his national team breakthrough at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, as the once-pilloried youngster has attracted summer transfer attention from Istanbul Basaksehir of Turkey.
Before now, Awaziem had been dubbed a largely underachieving player, following his inability to burst into the mainframe at his club, FC Porto of Portugal, and he is remembered for his errors that allowed South Africa beat Nigeria 2-0 in Uyo at the start of the AFCON 2019 qualifiers.
However, after rediscovering himself as a make-shift right-back in the Eagles at Egypt 2019, starting as a substitute for injured Shehu Abdullahi in the opening game 1-0 win against Burundi, Awaziem has become the rejected stone turning into the head of the corner.
His remarkable performances since that AFCON debut reached a mighty height in Saturday’s 3-2 victory against Cameroon, when his piercing cross from the right led to an assist from stand-in captain, Ahmed Musa on Nigeria’s second goal by Odion Jude Ighalo.
While Nigerians are astounded by Awaziem’s transformation, the lad, who played on loan at FC Nantes of France two seasons ago and got another such deal with Caykur Rizeposr of Turkey in the past campaign, is n ow set to move higher in The Land Of The Ottoman.
This is sequel to reports that the Turkish Super Lig club that signed another Nigerian, Azubuike Okechukwu earlier this week, Istanbul Basaksehir, have opened transfer talks with Porto for his switch.
After signing Okechukwu on a season-long loan from Pyramid FC of Egypt, Basaksehir are now moving for 22-year-old Awaziem, who has played all four matches for Nigeria at AFCON 2019 in Egypt.
Ajansspor.com reports that Basaksehir’s new coach, Okan Buruk sees Awaziem as an ideal option in the back-four of the Super Lig runners-up, as he aims to beef up his squad towards the UEFA Champions League.
The connection for Awaziem is stronger, as he played under Buruk last season at Rizespor, where he was equally impressive with regular playing time given him by the gaffer, who is now moving fast to ensure his new club beats of competition from their local rivals, Istanbul BB.
In order to ensure they get Awaziem into their fold this summer, Istanbul Basaksehir have tabled two offers, a full contract as well as a loan bid, in case Porto are not ready to sell the ‘reformed’ defender outright.