Almeria currently has nine point lead at the top of the Spanish Laliga 2 but the contribution of their star forward, Sadiq Umar can not be dithered with.
The Nigerian has played a pivotal role since his transfer to the Rojiblancos. Sadiq’s rise to prominence in Spain has not gone unnoticed. Perhaps, he’s fulfilling his potentials and on the verge of achieving a career high.
Born in Kaduna to the North of Nigeria on February 2, 1997, Sadiq made the journey from Abuja to Italy to join La Spezia’ youth set-up. He was soon recognised as one of the brightest young talents in La Spezia academy and was pencilled for a loan deal to AS Roma Galliarossi II in Serie B where he scored alot of goals and represented Roma at their U19 and U21.
His performance earned him a call up to the first team. He netted two goals in six appearances and before his loan deal expired, a permanent deal worth over €2m was agreed between Roma and La Spezia. Several loans soon followed between 2016 to 2020 at Bologna, Torino, NAC Breda, Rangers, Perugia and Partizan.
It was in Serbia the Nigerian eventually found his feet following a permanent move worth £1.8m. He tormented opposition teams, as he banged 23 goals, 19 assists in 42 games, averaging a goal/assist per game.
His rich vein of form prompted Spanish Segunda side, Almeria to enter negotiations for his services which was eventually sealed. During his debut season in spain, Sadiq contributed twenty goals and provided four assists.
Standing 6’4″ tall, Umar has an electric turn of pace, as well as the ability to finish with both feet and good technical abilities. His Physique made him a threat to defenders while he has also got an eye to spot an opening for his colleagues, which was evident last weekend when he returned from suspension to provide an assist in Almeria’s 3-1 win against Valladolid. That he counts Ronaldinho and Daniel Amokachi among his footballing idols would seem to make sense.
In 16 games, Sadiq has 7 goals and 6 assists in all competitions. He has an accuracy of 6.33 shot per goal, averaging 191 mins per goal.
He returned last weekend from suspension to grab his sixth assist, setting up Sergio Akieme for his team second goal in the 3-1 triumph.
In August 2021, Real Oviedo manager, Jose Ziganda described Sadiq as the best striker in the segunda.
“They have probably the best striker in the category (Umar Sadiq) and from there on, a very organised team with quality and rhythm. They are one of the powerful teams in the Second Division.”
While at Partisan Belgrade, axed Manchester United coach, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised Sadiq for his exploits before a champions league clash. He has also drawn admiration from Almeria Manager, Jose Gomes on several occasions.
His continuous absence from the National team has thrown the Football circle into massive disagreement. Sadiq represented Nigeria at the 2016 Olympic Games where his 4 goals helped the Dream Team to a third place finish.
With the current setup of the Super Eagles, he poses all qualities to lead the eagles attack particularly with his rich vein of form as the African Cup of Nations draws closer in January, 2022.
Pundits and football enthusiasts reckoned that he’s poised to be a lethargic striker in Europe in the coming years having been linked with top clubs in Europe.
Barcelona, Spurs, Newcastle and host of other clubs are monitoring the Forward whose best years looks ahead of him. He currently commands a transfer fee in the excess of £18m.
Sadiq Umar deserves a call up in the provisional squad of AFCON 2022. The meteoric rise of Sadiq Umar in terms of the round leather game and value when it comes to economic worth, can never be over undermined or perhaps over emphasized. The former As Roma striker is arguably the best striker in terms of goal scoring record in the la Liga Segunda smartbank for two seasons at the moment.