Nigeria international Ogenyi Onazi has rubbished claims suggesting that he was sent packing from his Italian club, Lazio hence the decision to seek a new lease of life in Turkey with Trabzonspor.
Some fans have queried the rationale behind Onazi’s decision to leave the highly rated Serie A for Turkey but the 23-year old told BBC Sports it was an imperative move which was hinged more on personal reasons.
“I left Lazio for personal reasons,” Onazi began in his interview with BBC Sport.
“Importantly I needed to make this move to clear my head and be happy playing football again
“It might be difficult for some people to understand my decision but this is a step forward in my career. The assistant Eagles captain added.
Contrary to assumptions that Onazi was surplus to requirements at his former Rome-based club, Onazi claimed that the Lazio management wanted to keep him and were even keen to extend his contract.
“The Lazio coach [Simone Inzaghi] spoke to the management about keeping me. I was even offered a contract extension to stay but Trabzonspor provides a new lease of life.
“I thank the Lazio fans, managers, players and backroom staff at the club who supported me from my Primavera [youth team] days for their love and incredible affection.
“I will always be a Lazio fan because the club gave me the platform to be the player I am today.”
Onazi after penning a four-deal estimated at about 5m Euros transfer fee will hope to prove himself in Turkey where a couple of Nigerian players; past and present have hugged the headlines.