The African Nations Cup always has a tendency to unearth some special talent. This season was no different with the likes of Alain Traore impressing for surprise finalists Burkina Faso, Serge Akakpo shining for Togo and the champions Migeria also had some revelations in the form of centre-back duo Kenneth Omeruo and Godfrey Oboabona.
The 24-year-old caught the eye with his energetic performances in the heart of Nigeria’s midfield but perhaps more impressive was his ability to find the net at the vital time. His strike against Ivory Coast in the quarter-finals earned him the nickname ‘The Elephant Slayer’ as Nigeria shocked the pre-tournament favourites on their way to the final against Burkina Faso.
Again Mba popped up at the right moment to smash home a half volley after good individual work on the edge of the box. It was a goal that sent his country into raptures as Stephen Keshi’s men held on to beat Les Etalons by the solitary goal in Johannesburg.
Since the tournament finished Mba has been a busy fella. His club side Warri Wolves have settled a debate with Enugu Rangers about his registration and he is now keen to make a move to Europe to enhance his career:
"I hope I can also get a deal in Europe after what I achieved at the Nations Cup."
He is reportedly courting interest from the likes of Bayer Leverkusen and Dinamo Zagreb while he would not rule out a move to Russia or the Ukraine and according to some reports he will not be bereft of options with as many as 16 clubs said to be interested in agreeing a deal to pick him up in the summer.
Now his club side have reportedly broken their silence on the matter. According to sources in Africa Warri Wolves would be willing to sell their newest star for as little as €1 million to the right suitor. A club official stated:
"The transfer fee for Sunday Mba has soared right now. The club are very willing to cash in on him at the moment as he was a key player for Nigeria at the Nations Cup.There are a number of clubs in Europe seeking to sign him following his superb display at the Nations Cup against Cote d'Ivoire in the quarterfinal and Burkina Faso in the final. The club chairman is insistent on doing business for the player but for nothing less than the asking fee of €1 million,"
While at 24-years-old he may seem a little old to make an impact in the European game he could well be one of the exceptions to that rule and enjoy great success in Europe. So far no British teams have shown an interest in the talented and energetic midfielder and you have to wonder why as he is practically purpose built for our style of football and at the price quoted worth every penny of the gamble.
Would you like your team to take a gamble on Sunday Mba?
image: © niyyie