Premier League side Watford, Serie A outfit Udinese and La Liga outfit Granada, all have one thing in common in that they are owned by the Pozzo family.
Isaac Success, Ighalo and other Nigerians involved in the Pozzo triangle
The 25-year-old forward is the latest Nigerian to see a transfer happen between a club owned by the influential Italian family.
The family headed by Giampaolo Pozzo, have been involved in different business ventures that include woodworks, electrical appliances and tools as well as property and finance. Giampaolo alongside his son, Gino, have however sold these business interests to focus on their football ownership.
Udinese was the first club Pozzo Snr. purchased in 1986, while Granada was bought in 2009 but sold off to Chinese businessman Jiang Lizhang in 2016. Watford was purchased from Laurence Bassini in 2012. Giampaolo has handed over the running of the Watford and Udinese to Gino.
Over the course of their ownership, there has been a norm of seeing players either being loaned or sold between the three clubs and some Nigerians are among. Here’s a rundown from the most recent transfer.
Success was signed in 2013 by Udinese but was immediately shipped out to Granada where he started out with the reserve team before playing for the first team between 2014 and 2016, racking up 56 appearances, scoring seven goals and providing seven assists.
Success joined Watford in 2016 for £12.5m and made a total of 72 appearances, scoring six goals and providing five assists. His time at Vicarage Road was constantly marred by multiple injury problems. He moved back to Udinese this summer.
Unlike Success, the centre-back did not start his career at any club affiliated with the Pozzo family. He rather started in the Netherlands with FC Groningen in 2013 and then FC Dordrecht (loan), KAA Gent, Haugesund (loan) and then Bursaspor in 2017.
Troost-Ekong moved to Udinese in 2018 and made played 66 times before securing a move to Watford in 2020, helping the Hornets to Premier League promotion for the ongoing season.
Agbo joined Udinese in 2013 and like Success, he was loaned out to Granada, first with the Andalusian outfit’s B team before the senior team, all these between 20014 and 2016. Agbo never made an appearance for Udinese and was sold to Watford in the summer of 2016. He never played at Vicarage Road and spent the 2016-17 campaign on loan at Standard Liege.
Liege made the loan move permanent afterwards and he’s played for Rayo Vallecano, Braga and Deportivo La Coruna as well. The 25-year old joined Slovakian giants, Slovan Bratislava, this summer
Ighalo started his European career at Norwegian side Lyn in 2007 spending just a season and moving to Udinese the following year. He only made six appearances during the 2008-09 season, scoring one goal before having two loan spells at Granada in between another loan stint at Cesena. At Granada, Ighalo played 131 times, scoring 38 goals.
The Nigerian also moved to Watford on loan in 2014 while still attached to Udinese. He made a permanent switch to Vicarage Road that same year and would go on to have a productive three-year stint where he scored 40 goals in 100 appearances, some of which were key towards the Hornets gaining Premier League promotion in 2015 after an eight-year absence.
Ighalo would go on to play for Changchun Yatai and Shanghai Shenhua in China, Manchester United and Saudi Arabian club, Al Shabab, where he presently is.
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.
Follow him on Twitter: @kfayiga
JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!
Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: