West Ham United look set to bolster their attacking options with the recruitment of Nigerian forward Emmanuel Emenike.
According to various reports, the 28-year-old looks set to move to the Premier League side on loan, as Slaven Bilic looks to secure European football for the Hammers next season.
Emenike, meanwhile, has taken to Instagram to seemingly confirm the move, posting a picture of West Ham’s club crest along with the words “I’m Happy.”
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So what should West Ham fans know about the Nigerian and is this a deal that is going to leave them “happy” too? Here are seven things they should know about Emmanuel Emenike.
1. Electric Start
Though he arrives at West Ham from Fenerbahce, Emenike’s best spell in Europe came with previous club and fellow Turkish outfit Karabukspor.
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Brought to the Karabuk club from FC Cape Town, the Nigerian netted 30 goals in 51 games – a return that is all the more impressive when you consider the club’s status as also-rans in the Turkish Super Lig.
2. Age Concerns
Emenike was also at the heart of a scandal concerning his age, after one Turkish newspaper claimed the Nigerian was 31 rather than the 24 he had claimed in his passport following his move to Karabukspor.
The striker took offence to these claims, as reported by KickOff.com:
"This vicious accusation will not go unpunished. feel very bad about this situation and so does my agent and the president of my club.
"This is the same country where a journalist wrote that I came to Turkey on a boat, while another incredulously said I was starving - this time around they have gone too far."
He went on to launch legal action against the source of the stories.
3. Match Fixing
Having moved on to Fenerbahce for €9 million back in May 2011, Emenike found himself in hot water yet again after he was arrested amid allegations of match fixing just two months into his first stint with the Istanbul club.
Though he was later released after police failed to uncover sufficient evidence of wrongdoing, Fener still opted to transfer-list the forward, who moved on to Spartak Moscow – without playing a competitive game for Fenerbahce – for €10 million.
Trouble followed him, though, with Emenike arrested a second time over the same match fixing allegations from his time in Turkey.
The case finally collapsed in 2013, with Emenike eventually moving back to Fenerbahce, having proven his innocence, for €13 million in August 2013.
4. Managerial Clashes
As well as clashing with the press and police, Emenike has also had his fair share of troubles with managers.
The most notable of these was former Nigeria national teach coach Stephen Keshi, who branded the striker a “troublemaker” following a series of clashes during the 2014 World Cup.
Speaking to BBC Sport about Keshi, Emenike responded with the following:
"There are certain things you'd not expect from your coach.
“If there's any problem, as a player you only want to find out directly from him and not in the media, it's something he taught us ... I feel honoured playing for Nigeria and I respect the coach like my own father.
“I give my all to the team because we are like one big family any time we all come together. But for him to say I am creating a problem in the team and my teammates are unhappy with me is sad and unacceptable."
5. Russian Promise
Though he ultimately left Spartak Moscow to return to Fenerbahce, Emenike’s time in Russia could provide the clearest indicator of how he might fare in the Premier League.
With it’s harsh temperatures, difficult away trips and hard-tackling style, the Russian Premier League is as intimidating a football atmosphere as any player is likely to find.
But Emenike enjoyed plenty of success with Spartak, scoring 24 goals in 51 games, including a memorable brace against Celtic in the Champions League.
6. International Duty
Despite scoring nine goals in 37 outings to date for the Super Eagles, Emenike announced his retirement from international football, via Instagram, in October 2015.
The decision appeared to stem from the Nigerian’s barren run of form in front of goal for the national side, with the 28-year-old without a goal for the Super Eagles since October 2013.
That strike came as part of brace in a crucial World Cup qualifying play-off win over Ethiopia. Speaking on Instagram, in quotes republished by Goal.com, Emenike offered the following:
“For every disappointing fans, maybe due to my inability to re-establish my goal scoring instinct for Super Eagles, I will like to say I’m sorry but the ones I had scored counted well for the team.”
7. Middle East
Having fallen out of favour at Fenerbahce, Emenike took the decision to sign a season-long loan with Al-Ain back in July of 2015.
Signed as a direct replacement for the outgoing former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan, the Nigerian has made an impressive start to life in the Middle East, scoring seven goals in just 11 appearances already.
Whether that will translate into goals in the Premier League remains to be seen.
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