Super Eagles Striker Emenike Completes Al Ain Loan Move
UAE side Al Ain have completed the loan signing of Nigeria striker Emmanuel Emenike from Turkish giants Fenerbahce. Emenike replaces Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan who has joined Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG on a two-year deal. The deal includes an option for Al Ain to buy Emenike at the end of the loan.
The 28-year-old, who scored 4 league goals in 27 matches last season, knows he has much to live up to after Gyan’s 128 goals in four years in the UAE. “This is a big club with high expectations and I promise to give my best,” he told BBC Sport. “It is true that [Asamoah] Gyan has done a remarkable job here so I understand there will be expectations. “But I also want to succeed alongside the fantastic players here and win trophies because that is what the club is all about. “On a personal note this is a fresh challenge that I need in my career and I hope to make a great contribution at Al Ain. “I’ve been given an amazing welcome by the club and my focus now is to deliver on the pitch.”
Emenike endured a turbulent period at Fenerbahce having initially transferred to the Turkish side in 2011. However, a match-fixing scandal, for which he was later cleared, prompted the Istanbul club to sell him to Russian side Spartak Moscow less than two months later. He re-joined Fenerbahce in 2013 and helped propel them to the 2013/14 Super Lig title and the 2014 Turkish Cup crown. But Emenike, who made his Nigeria debut in 2011 and was top scorer at the 2013 African Cup of Nations, suffered a dramatic dip in form last season which attracted negative reactions from Fenerbahce fans. He demanded to be substituted after he was booed by his own fans during their 1-0 home win over rivals Besiktas in March. A Nations Cup winner with Nigeria in 2013, Emenike started all four of the Super Eagles’ matches at last summer’s World Cup in Brazil.