The sporting life of Umar Sadiq (Kaduna, Nigeria, 24 years old) is marked by a slip and a chance. The tall Almería striker, the top scorer in the Second Division with six goals, along with Stoichkov, an Eibar striker, has become the diamond of the category leader, led by Rubi. Sadiq’s story begins to take shape on a journey through Italian football, which he arrived at as a youth from his native Nigeria. After an odyssey of transfers, Almería rescued him from Serbian football, where he played for Partizan Belgrade, by chance. Along the way, a dismissal from the Scottish Rangers marked his career.
José Gomes, coach of Almería between the summer of 2020 and April 2021, is the main character who intervened so that Sadiq arrived in Spain. “We were looking for a footballer to replace Darwin Núñez and we had to choose well,” says Gomes to this newspaper from Saudi Arabia, where he now trains the Al-Taawon team, of the highest Saudi category. “In Portugal the Serbian League is followed a lot and they told me about a forward from Partizan Belgrade who had played for Nacional. We went to see him and we met Sadiq. He dazzled me and I told the Almería managers that he had to be signed anyway. We went for a player and we brought another one ”, recognizes Gomes. Almería, who had sold Darwin Núñez for 20 million to Benfica, signed Sadiq for five. “Yes, it was a coincidence. These things happen in football ”, clarifies Gomes.
A cataract of coincidences had caused the discovery of Sadiq in the Partizan, a historical one of the Serbian League. But there is much behind it despite Sadiq’s 24 years. The Nigerian made his debut in Serie A at the age of 18 with Roma, scoring two goals in the six games he played in the 2016-17 season with the Romanist team, where he arrived from Spezia for his subsidiary. Roma was giving it to different teams, such as Bologna, Torino, Breda and Rangers, where he experienced one of the most complicated episodes of his career.
Sadiq arrived in Scotland in the summer of 2018 and played only four games in a first round in which he collided head-on with the coach of the Scottish team, a myth like Steven Gerrard, who had just landed on the historic Scottish team, who did not have him sportingly and admitted that Sadiq was removed from the first team. “I was humiliated and asked what was the reason for this change in attitude when Kyle Lafferty arrived. [otro delantero], but I never got a reply. Even Gerrard didn’t explain. They behaved disrespectfully to me, as a player and as a person. When it was all over, Gerrard didn’t even have the courage to speak to me and tell my face what happened. It was a great surprise for me, I did not expect such behavior, “Sadiq admitted in a statement to the Sunday Post In March 2019, when he had already left Scotland to experience an umpteenth assignment at Perugia, in Serie B. In the summer of 2019 he arrived at Partizan, where he scored 23 goals in 52 games before being rescued by Almería.
Those who know Sadiq recognize that there are times when he has somewhat uncontrolled reactions. Rubi, his coach at Almería, works specifically to keep him calm. In addition, his colleagues sometimes complain about his selfishness. “He has a huge heart, what happens is that sometimes he has prompt ones that attract a lot of attention,” Rubi himself clarifies. “As a footballer he has impressive potential, with a privileged physique [mide 1,92]”, Acknowledged the coach after the triumph of the Andalusian team against Tenerife.
With a termination clause of 60 million, Almería has already received offers for a striker who, for example, dazzles Monchi, Sevilla’s sports director, who asked about him before deciding on the signing of Rafa Mir. The 25 million that Almería requested were too much for the Sevilla executive. It is not ruled out that in the next winter market Almería will receive new proposals for a footballer who has scored 28 goals in 52 games. “He can play perfectly in a team that aspires to qualify for the Champions League. Sadiq not only marks, he contributes a lot to the team’s game. He has lived long with 24 years and can improve. He is a boy who responds to confidence ”, culminates José Gomes, who acknowledges that Sadiq has the selfishness of the strikers on the field.
The data also reflects the importance of Sadiq in the Almería game. He is the footballer who has participated in the most goals in the Second Division, since in nine games he has scored six goals and has given two assists; He is the player with the most shots in the entire category, with 32 (11 among the three suits), with Brandon, from Málaga, second with 25. All the goals he has scored have also been achieved within the area.
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