The last two years have gone well for Umar Sadiq, one of the big names of the summer transfer window, but football has not always been kind to the Nigerian.
The striker has spent time with up to 10 different clubs between 2013 and 2020, when he signed for Almeria.
His beginnings were not easy in Kaduna, a town in northern Nigeria, where he was born. However, in 2013, at the age of 16, he played in a youth tournament in Croatia and his team, Kusa Boys, became champions.
The opportunity to play in Europe was offered to him by Spezia‘s youth team, until Roma secured his loan with an option to buy for 2.5 million euros.
It was there that, after convincing Rudi Garcia, he played his first minutes in professional football in 2015.
From loan to loan and his worst moment with Gerrard
Despite this, the lack of minutes in a team in which Mohamed Salah was playing, made him look for opportunities abroad, all of them on loan from the Roman club.
He had spells with Bologna, Torino and NAC Breda, before arriving at Rangers, then coached by the legendary Steven Gerrard. It was undoubtedly the worst period of his career.
Sadiq was ostracised by the former England player and even stated in an interview with The Sunday Post that Gerrard “humiliated” him, forcing him to change “with the kids”.
“Suddenly I was told I couldn’t use the first-team changing room any more. I had to change with the kids and a few days later I was even banned from parking my car inside the sports centre,” Sadiq said in that interview.
The striker later admitted to Omasport Nigeria that “when I was playing for Rangers I used to go home crying because things were not going well and I could see that my dream was slipping away”.
His great year at Partizan led to a move to Almeria
After a spell at Perugia, Partizan Belgrade bought him on loan in the 2019 summer transfer window and just a few months later, in January, he was bought for 2.5 million euros.
There, after a great year with 17 goals and 17 assists in 39 appearances, he caught the eye of then Almeria coach Jose Gomes, who asked the club to sign him.
In two seasons he has scored 20 and 18 goals respectively, standing out as one of the best strikers in the Segunda Division.
Now at 25 years old, he is on his way to breaking the record for the biggest sale by Almeria for almost 30 million euros.