Paul Onuachu, from 0-11 to 7-11

Edwin  - CEO December 16, 2023
Updated 2023/12/16 at 10:56 AM
4 Min Read
Paul Onuachu powers Trabzonspor to narrow win over Pendikspor
Paul Onuachu powers Trabzonspor to narrow win over Pendikspor

Lanky Nigeria forward is back to his groove again


Watch Paul Onuachu scores a sensational goal in Turkey Süper Lig


By Ed Emeanua


Going from a zero-eleven reject at struggling Southampton last year, to a standout seven-eleven star-man for Trabzonspor Kulübü in the current Turkey Süper Lig campaign, Paul Onuachu is the proverbial stone the builders cast asunder, but has now morphed into the cornerstone.


Though failing to find the net in Karadeniz Fırtınası’s (Black Sea Storm’s) last two outings against the pair of Kayserispor (in an 0-1 loss), and Gaziantep (in a 3-1 win), the tall and lanky Super Eagles striker is certainly back to his groove again.


The Nigeria international has gained notoriety in the Turkish Super Lig, exerting his transformation in a recent enthralling road performance, and scoring in his third back-to-back outing with the Cegeka Arena outfit in a three-all tie at Sivaspor.


The high-yielding game not only illustrated the offensive ability of the sides, but showcased the encounter’s decisive star-Onuachu- who has now netted 7 times this term, topping the chart for the Black Sea Storm in the Süper Lig.


Fans were left on the edge of their seat from start to finnish of the referee’s whistle at the Yiğidolar Yigidos’ (The Braves’) Sivas 4 Eylül Stadium, with the Nigerian emerging the star of the story.



Yet, it has not been all rosy for the new sensation at high-riding Trabzonspor. Onuachu made his vaunted touchdown in Hampshire from Genk in Belgium, on an £18.6 million move to then struggling Premier League club Southampton in February.


The lanky forward had breezed into St Mary’s Stadium with the assured reputation of one of the hottest point-men in European football, with his new owners also hopeful that the man from Cegeka Arena would turn around Saints’ relegation fears around.


However, that was as far as the expectation of Saints faithful went on their Nigerian messianic prospect. Eleven games down the line, the record was grim. The tally for the man from Genk for the Saints was zero goal in 11 Premier League runouts. It was apparent to all that the Saints had successfully contrived to flush £18.6 million down the drain.


It was a calamitous adventure with huge implications. Even his new owners didn’t want to see his face around St Mary’s Park anymore. The Nigerian had no option than to leave.


Onuachu’s complete nosedive to the dust was complete when his nation’s senior football selectors also considered him surplus to requirement for the Super Eagles. He was ignored in all subsequent international engagements from that point.


So to the East Onuachu went in search of pastures anew when Trabzonspor came calling with a loan deal lifeline to Southampton. See Onuachu now.


In a swift turnaround, the Nigerian has been able to redirect his once waning footballing career back up on ascendancy. Not only has he been able to revive his reputation at Trabzonspor, Onuachu’s goals for club has also caught the attention of Super Eagles selectors.


The remarkable story of the gangling striker’s transformation would be more than complete if he is in Nigeria’s team to next month’s Africa Nations Cup event in Cote d’Ivoire. Time will tell.


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