By OJEIKERE AIKHOJE
From his first season at UD Almeria when his goals almost returned the relegated club to LaLiga Santander, it was obvious that Nigerian striker, Umar Sadiq was made for LaLiga football.
The decision to play in Spain clearly boosts the LaLiga brand considering the pedigree of the Nigerian International who is a consistent goal scorer.
Looking for LaLiga’s double digit scorer, then turn to Sadiq.
Sadiq arrived from Partizan Belgrade, which rescued him from his nightmare at Scottish side, Glasgow Rangers.
A five-star outing at Belgrade caught the attention of Almeria, who wasted no time to lure him.
With 20 goals as top scorer for Almeria, the club made it to the playoffs but lost out in the promotion race. Top scorer, Raul de Tomas of Espanyol and Uros Durdevic of Sporting Gijon scored 23 and 22 goals, respectively, to beat him in the LaLiga SmartBank goal race.
His efforts didn’t go unnoticed as other suitors made attempts to lure him.
Convinced to stay back for a second season to help the club push for promotion, Sadiq agreed and 2021/22 season turned out to be a better experience.
Sadiq played for Nigeria at the African Cup of Nations and returned in time to help his team fight for promotion.
For the second season, Sadiq finished as top scorer for his club with 18 goals and 8 assists, the highest assists, which ensured Almeria topped the log to earn automatic promotion.
Since helping the club return to the top flight, Sadiq has become a target of bigger LaLiga clubs.
Expectedly, he has scored twice in the 2022/23 season to announce his arrival in LaLiga .
On transfer deadline day, Real Sociedad completed the deal to acquire the Nigerian striker as direct replacement for Swedish International, Alexander Isak, who scored 33 goals in 105 matches for the club over three years.
The move makes him the second Nigerian after Mutiu Adepoju to play for the San Sebastien side.
Isak joined Newcastle United and Sociedad moved in for a new striker.
Speaking on his move, the Nigerian said: “La Real is a great team and a big step in my career, it is the best option. I am very happy to be here. I will do everything possible to help my teammates and give my best level.”
As the typical center forward, Sadiq is the man for the goals.
Add his towering presence in the attack of any team with speed, skill and vision, Sadiq’s goal scoring job is cut out for him.
Is he the new Yekini? Time will tell. Incidentally, Yekini played in LaLiga for Sporting Gijon.
Sadiq is expected to make his debut against Atletico Madrid, on Saturday.