Will potential Atletico Madrid move benefit Moffi now?

The Nigerian forward has been linked with a move to the Spanish capital.

Terem Moffi. (Premium Times)

Prior to the start of the 2020-21 football season, Terem Moffi was a relatively unknown player.

He started out his career at Lithuanian side Kauno Zalgris and then Riterial in the same country.

This was within a three year span (2017-20) and though not a popular league, Moffi made a huge statement in the Eastern European country, netting a fine 21 goals across his two spells with these Lithuanian giants.

Moffi’s next move was to Belgian top-flight side Kortrijk in January 2020 and he found the back of the net five times in 11 outings.

Moffi was definitely getting noticed at this point as the Belgian top-flight is a highly sought-after league for talent. Lorient, on the heels of gaining promotion to the French Ligue 1 for the first time since 2017, came knocking for Moffi and the Nigerian took his game to the next level.

He scored 15 competitive goals in 34 appearances, 14 of them coming in Ligue 1 which saw him finish as the joint fifth-highest goalscorer. Moffi scored against giants like PSG and Monaco, Lorient avoiding defeat in them. The biggest result however came in a 4-1 bashing of 2009 champions, Bordeaux, Moffi scoring a hat-trick.

Lorient ultimately avoided relegation, finishing in 16th place, seven points clear of the drop.

Moffi was more prominent at this point and it got the attention of Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr who handed the 22-year-old his international debut in the double friendly header against Cameroon in Austria back in June.

Moffi carried on from where he left off last season for the new campaign, opening his goal account for Lorient in a big 1-0 win over Monaco on matchweek 2 and providing an assist in a 2-2 draw at RC Lens in their most recent Ligue 1 fixture.

Now there’s more interest in Moffi with reigning Spanish La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, rumoured to want his signature.

This is obviously huge for a player who was playing in an obscure Lithuania as at January 2020, but has evidently shown consistency to make it this far and be noticed, something that pleases Lorient coach Christophe Pelissier a lot.

“The fact that a player like him is wanted [by other teams] seems logical to me, and is also gratifying for the work that is being done here,” Pelissier stated.

“We are able to develop very, very high-level players. Terem [Moffi] is already a very high-level player and I think he will get even better with time.”

While being linked to Atletico Madrid is very massive, it needs to be asked if it is worth Moffi making the jump now. The obvious answer is a big yes, but will beneficial for him?

It’s an upgrade in every sense, but will he be able to break into the Atleti first team and see enough playing time? Will he be able to handle the pressure that comes with such a big club?

Atletico presently have a four forwards in their team that is Portuguese prospect Joao Felix, Argentina’s Angel Correa, Uruguay and former Barcelona superstar, Luis Suarez, and new signing, 22-year-old Brazilian and Olympic gold medalist, Matheus Cunha.

These are players brimming with quality and eager to play, but all four can’t play that many games at the same time, so how and where does Moffi fit in?

Moffi’s transfer move is only still a rumour but a lot can happen between now and the end of the summer transfer window on August 31.

Moving to Atletico Madrid will be huge for Moffi, but he needs to consider it very well before jumping the gun quickly as it can be either a feeling of joy and regret once the reality sets in.

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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.

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