In search of his best form, Emmanuel Emmenike has taken the bold step of moving to the Premier League with West Ham United where he will hope to rediscover his best form, of course with the help of compatriot Victor Moses and manager Slaven Bilic.
The 28-year-old quit the national team last year after suffering a deep in form for both club and country – hasn’t been the same player he was and needs a fresh start.
He fell out with fans in Istanbul who constantly booed him and on few occasions used monkey gestures to show their frustrations for the striker’s lack of consistency in front of goal after huge investment from the club.
He was unceremoniously shipped out to Asia where he joined Al Ain on loan but his fortune did not improve as he still struggled with the demands of the league, luckily the fans didn’t turn on him but he knew he had to change scenario and West Ham manager Slaven Bilic came to the rescue with a swift loan move that see him team up with fellow Nigerian Victor Moses for another six months.
Interestingly, Emmenike is no stranger to Bilic as the Croatian was the manager of Fernabahce’s arch rivals Besiktas when both were in Turkey but the former Spartak Moscow forward must repay the faith placed on him by coming through this latest audition at Upton Park in Flying colours.
Speaking after his signing Emmenike told West Ham TV: “I’ve known Slaven Bilic for years. When he was at Lokomotiv Moscow, I was at Spartak Moscow, then he came to Besiktas and I was in Fernabahce, so we’ve known each other for a long time. I’m happy to be here and happy to play for him.
“We followed each other’s careers and thank God we are here today and we are here together.”
The Hammers are currently blessed with decent forward players like Enner Valencia, Diafra Sahko, Andy Carroll, Victor Moses, Manuel Lanzini and Dimitri Payet but the managers singular reason for signing Emmenike is to provide a ready-made goals channel.
Bilic has endured an injury prone campaign with his forward men especially Carroll who sees the doctors more times than putting on a match-day jersey and that has affected the team in terms of getting goals this season.
West Ham needs a 20 goals striker and the manager feels Emmenike can be that man. Recall, he was largely responsible for Nigeria winning the 2013 African Cup of Nations and also painted Russia with goals before moving to Fernabahce where it all turned grey.
So, he has the ability to play a key role for West Ham this season maybe not by scoring 20 but staying fit throughout their campaign and maybe contributing up to eight goals – that will definitely earn him a permanent stay with the club.
The premier league is arguably the biggest stage in European league football for any player to audition his talents and it won’t be different for Emmanuel Emmenike.
Victor Moses can play a huge role in helping Emmenike settle at Upton Park and hopefully he will hit the ground running with goals.