Nigeria World Cup goalkeeper VINCENT ENYEAMA organizes the defense for FC Hapoel Tel Aviv during the UEFA Champions League match opposite German Bundesliga runners-up Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen at the Bloomfield Stadium in Israel. (bleacherreport.com)
After having earned much praise for his performances with the national team of Nigeria at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa as well as the form exhibited for his club employers in the UEFA Champions League this fall, there is some speculation floating about that goalkeeper VINCENT ENYEAMA will leave Israeli champion FC Hapoel Tel Aviv during the winter transfer window.
On the heels of a fine run in Europe this season, FC Hapoel Tel Aviv have already cashed in on 26-year-old Brazilian defender DOUGLAS DA SILVA, who was recently sold to reigning Austrian Bundesliga titlist Red Bull Salzburg for a transfer fee of 2.6 million Euros — a considerable sum for an Israeli football club to collect.
Enyeama’s contract with FC Hapoel Tel Aviv expires at the conclusion of this 2010-11 campaign and, as of the New Year, the 28-year-old Nigerian goalkeeper is within his rights to entertain offers from potential new employers; on the surface, it would appear that the time to sell is now or never for the Israeli club.
Nigeria goalkeeper VINCENT ENYEAMA of Israeli ha’Al champion FC Hapoel Tel Aviv ccollects the ball and crashes into Argentina “star” LIONEL MESSI (10) of Spanish La Liga giant FC Barcelona during the 2010 FIFA World Cup Group B match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, South Africa. (mtnfootball.com)
KICKOFFNIGERIA.COM reports there would be a valid reason for FC Hapoel Tel Aviv to risk losing Enyeama — who is now represented by the “super agent” well-known to English Premier League clubs, PINI ZAHAVI — on a free transfer at the end of the season.
FC Hapoel Tel Aviv could off load the still-contracted Enyeama and pocket a transfer fee somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.0 million Euros, perhaps even a little more, now. But this would require the defending Israeli champions to finish out the campaign with 28-year-old reserve goalkeeper GALIL BEN SHANAN, who is uncapped and does not have anywhere near the experience of the club’s current first choice, or acquire another shot-stopper as a replacement. The bottom line is “The Cat” was extremely influential and critical to FC Hapoel Tel Aviv’s Ligat ha’Al championship success last season, perhaps more so than any other player.
The theory is FC Hapoel Tel Aviv are patiently focused on retaining the title in the Israeli top flight because the profits generated by a return entry in next season’s UEFA Champions League competition — even if the club do not, as was the case this term, advance as far as the lucrative Group Stage — would easily dwarf any transfer fee earned with the immediate sale of Enyeama this winter.