Paul Onuachu left KRC Genk in the January transfer window to join Southampton, but his move could not be deemed a success
Nigerian star, Paul Onuachu, has found his form since joining Turkish side, Trabzonspor, during the summer transfer window, Soccernet.ng reports.
The Super Eagles forward moved to the Black Sea Storm on a season-long loan from Southampton and quickly returned to scoring goals after featuring in just two matches.
Before joining Southampton, Onuachu was leading the Belgian Pro League scorers chart with 16 goals, attracting interest from various European clubs.
However, upon moving to England, he struggled to prevent Southampton from relegation, failing to score in all 11 appearances, which resulted in him losing his place in the starting lineup.
This has raised questions in the football community about whether the towering Nigerian attacker didn’t fit into Southampton’s football system or if Ruben Selles was making a managerial error.
Selles defended his decision to limit Onuachu’s starting lineup appearances by citing the challenges of adapting to the Premier League.
“I think sometimes it’s difficult to come straight to the Premier League and it’s hard to score goals, especially in that position. There are some key positions where you need to be more exposed than others, and that’s the number nine position,” Selles explained.
“Probably the change in manager didn’t benefit him; we went to some places we didn’t go before. Usually, when you get a player from the Belgian league or the French league, unless the team is very structured, they need time to adapt. That’s what happened. He probably has a different opinion, but that’s my opinion,” Selles added.
Furthermore, Selles, who was then an interim manager at the club, revealed he wouldn’t have signed Onuachu if he had been the manager at that time.
Onuachu’s fortunes have taken a different turn since joining Trabzonspor to revive his career. He recently assisted Edin Visca with an opening goal and scored one himself in their match against Hatayaspor.
It might be best for Onuachu to stick with the team and game where he is valued, rather than trying to fit into a system that doesn’t appreciate his talents.