When a club like FC Porto has interest in a player, it's because he could be the next big thing and they don't sleep on the opportunity to snap the player and develop him.
Awaziem ready to write another career chapter with Alanyaspor
The Nigerian centre-back will be spending his second stint in the Turkish Super Lig.
That was the case for Chidozie Awaziem whom the Portuguese giants signed from El-Kanemi Warriors as an academy player in 2014.
Things sadly didn't go too well for the Nigerian at Porto as he hardly made it into the first team with just 15 appearances in five years and rather spent more time with the reserves where he played 62 times.
Regardless of that, Awaziem spent valuable time on loan at a number of clubs and these were Nantes, Rizespor, Leganes and Boavista. In total he played 100 times across all four clubs.
Awaziem wasn't convincing enough to remain at Porto and was sold to Boavista this summer. However, he has been sent out on loan once again and will be at Alanyaspor in the Turkish Super Lig. It will be his second stint in the elite division having played for Rizespor in the second half of the 2018-19 season, racking up 16 appearances.
This is another chapter in Awaziem's career and he is clearly looking to hit the ground running immediately.
"I'm very happy to be welcomed like this and I'm glad I came to such a beautiful place,” Awaziem said.
“I have been hearing about Alanyaspor's name and achievements for a long time so, I didn't think about it when the offer came in. I agreed immediately.
“No one doubts that I will give anything to achieve the goals. I have a structure that gives everything on the field.”
Indeed, Awaziem wasted no time introducing himself to the Alanyaspor faithful, by scoring on his debut in a 1-0 win over Giresunspor last weekend.
Alanyaspor have been a stable name in the Super Lig since gaining promotion in 2016. They have found themselves from bottom half finishers to top half finishers and were never in threat of relegation, their best finish coming in the 2019-20 campaign in fifth place, three points shy of the final European qualification spot.
Alanyaspor chairman, Hasan Cavusoglu, revealed that Awaziem was very close to joining league giants Besiktas, but the Antalya-based side were able to beat them to the deal. Cavusoglu also believes that with Awaziem's presence, the team is much stronger and can be more competitive in aiming for European qualification this time around.
“It's not easy to transfer players like that. He almost came to Besiktas recently, but he got lucky. We think we make a very good team" he said.
“I believe that Alanyaspor will return to its old days with our new manager.
“We lost two games, but we are still in the league. With Awaziem, the technical team and the Alanyaspor community, we will strive to bring our team to its rightful place together.
“Awaziem is now a part of Alanyaspor. We're together until the end of the season. I think we will have a good season."
It's just a season-long loan deal, but a lot can happen for Awaziem that can move the course of his career for good. As stated earlier, he's been solid in all the clubs he's been previously loaned to, becoming a crowd favourite in the process which in turn made him a regular in the Super Eagles fold.
Awaziem has played for modest European sides for virtually all his career, however, an impression at Alanyaspor could be a springboard to a bigger club. After all, Besiktas were interested in his services. Who knows who else is also monitoring him closely?
It's therefore all to play for for the 24-year-old.
Kunle is an avid writer with interest in topics on sports, politics and health. His articles have featured in Goal.com, Opera News and Vanguard News. He holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in International Relations and is an advocate for people living with Hydrocephalus and other neurological conditions.
Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.
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