Simy, Onyeka and Etebo: The winners and losers of the summer transfer market

The 2021 summer transfer window will live long in the memory of football fans for years to come due to the unprecedented deals that took place.

While there were a lot of surprising moves, none is as big as Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona for Paris Saint Germain (PSG) and Cristiano Ronaldo making a sensational return to Manchester United.

Although Messi joined PSG on a free transfer while Manchester United only paid £12.8m to sign Ronaldo from Juventus, the two transfers were the biggest of the summer in terms of impact.

Other transfers that took many by surprise include Antoine Griezmann going back to Atletico Madrid on a loan deal from Barcelona on deadline day.

Chelsea breaking their transfer record to resign Romelu Lukaku also caught the eye. Manchester City paid a British-record fee of £100m to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa.

Nigerian players were also not left out in the market, although none was as big as the deal that took Victor Osimhen to Napoli last summer.

Still, there were a couple of Nigerians that changed clubs. As a result, Soccernet takes a look at some of the winners and losers from a Nigerian angle in the transfer market.


As stated earlier, there was no record-breaking move like the one that took Osimhen to Italy last summer. But Frank Onyeka is one of the country’s biggest winners in the market after sealing a move to the English Premier League.

The 23-year-old joined Premier League’s newest side Brentford on a five-year deal from Danish side FC Midtjylland.

Oghenekaro Etebo and Emmanuel Dennis are also winners of the transfer market after they joined Watford from Stoke City and Club Brugge, respectively.

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Cyriel Dessers did not enjoy the best of the season with Genk last campaign, but he will hope to rediscover his scoring touch in the Eredivisie after sealing a move to Feyenoord.

Taiwo Awoniyi finally ended his time with Liverpool after sealing a permanent move to Union Berlin. The Iron Ones took the opportunity to sign him permanently after he impressed in his loan stint last season.

The former Golden Eaglets star joined Liverpool in 2015, but he never got to play for the club, going on different loan stints in his six years at the club.

Awoniyi has already started well this season, with three goals in three Bundesliga games.

Henry Onyekuru is another winner from this transfer market. The Nigerian finally found a permanent place in Olympiacos where he can call home.

Onyekuru spent last season on loan at Galatasaray from Monaco, but the Lions could not afford to sign him permanently.

It looked like Onyekuru would stay at Monaco until Olympiacos decided to pay 4.5m pounds to sign him permanently.

Ahmed Musa is another Super Eagles star that secured a move to a new club this summer. The former Leicester City man joined Turkish club Fatih Karagümrük after a temporary stint with Kano Pillars.


No bigger loser than Paul Onuachu. The Nigerian finished as the Belgian Jupiler League top scorer with 33 goals for Genk.

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However, despite interest from West Ham, Watford and Arsenal, Onuachu could not get his desired move, and he’s stuck with Genk for another season.

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Simy Nwankwo is another Nigerian striker that made history last season after scoring 20 goals in the Italian Serie A for Crotone.

Although his goals could not save Crotone, it was supposed to earn him a move to a decent club. While he did move, it was to the newly-promoted Salernitana.

The move means Simy is likely to be involved in another relegation battle this season. Simy and Onuachu’s situation this summer raises the question of whether Nigerian players are attractive enough for clubs or they have incompetent agents.

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Tyronne Ebuehi was brilliant in his loan spell for Twente last season and would’ve hoped to continue with the club.

However, Twente could not agree a deal with his parent club, Benfica. The Portuguese club then decided to send him on loan to Serie A’s new boys Venezia, which means Ebuehi has to start again in a new environment.