Players of the Nigerian leagueBy Aderonke Ojediran-Lawal
An ex-international, Edema Fuludu, says the poor state of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) is the reason why Nigerian players are not sought after in the current European transfer window.
The former attacking midfielder told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos that the development did not bode well for Nigerian players at the domestic league.
Nigerian players are not yet in the reckoning for such record transfer in the very busy transfer window which would close on August 31.NAN reports that the commencement of the transfer window on July 1 has seen the record signing of Mohammed Salah by Liverpool FC for the sum of 34.3 million pounds.
Fuludu added that the authorities would have to do more to enhance the profile of the league in order to provide a better platform to improve the fortunes of domestic league footballers.
“In spite of the effort by the League Management Company (LMC) to reposition our league in order to make it viable, we are still not there yet.
“We can assess ourselves during transfer windows like this, when top league clubs jostle for our players like we used to have in the 1990s which showed that scouts can see the potential in us.
“These days, most African players are eager to play in the South African league; the reason is not farfetched because their league has all the vital elements of a good competition.
“Our players that have managed to be considered are only good enough for second divisions and if they struggle to play for top-rated clubs, they are not among the first team players.
“A player’s market value depends on how he is playing and most importantly how often he plays and the impact he is making in his club and also for his country.
“It’s a big issue for us, it also has an impact on our national team,’’ Fuludu said.
Fuludu, who was a member of the 1994 Super Eagles squad that won the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Tunisia, told NAN that the NPFL could do with more viable investors.
“We need more investment in our league so that if our market value goes up, scouts will always come here to get our products.
“We must make the value of our home team strong, the LMC is trying its best honestly, if this same effort it is putting in now has been the case years ago, we would have gone far.
“If officiating gets better, coaches get trained; a player in Nigeria will probably be offered 200, 000 dollars or 100,000 dollars as the case maybe.
“If it’s a player in South Africa, he will earn in millions simply because they have invested in their league,’’ he said.