From stars to flops: Eagles stars who failed to shine at new clubs

Aribo rues Everton loss, slams teammates


Several top players who were in terrific form at their previous clubs have failed to carry that form to their new clubs. In this report, JOHNNY EDWARD takes a look at some of the country’s Europe-based stars in this category

Joe Aribo (Glasgow Rangers to Southampton)

Aribo’s move to Southampton could be termed a ‘complete failure’ since quitting Glasgow Rangers last summer.

After three successful seasons at Ibrox, where he won the Scottish league and Cup and scoring in the final of the Europa League, Aribo joined the Saints in a deal worth £10m last summer.

But the move to the Premier League has not gone according to plan, and his outstanding outings with the Gers now seem a distant memory.

The Nigerian started brightly for the Saints and scored on just his second Premier League appearance against Leeds United. But it quickly went downhill.

He’s found goals and game time considerably harder to come by compared to his time in Glasgow, and the club will look at his two goals in 1,544 minutes of football this season as hugely underwhelming.

With relegation almost certain for Southampton and a terrible goals drought record hanging over his head, Aribo will be hoping for a miracle to avoid the drop.

It’s hard to label his move to Southampton anything but a complete disaster.

Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam to Watford)

Okoye enjoyed a wonderful season at Sparta Rotterdam before he moved to Watford last season.

At Sparta, Okoye was named the club’s Player of the Season for the 2020/21 campaign after he helped the Rotterdam outfit finish eighth in the Dutch Eredivisie last season with his eye-catching performances between the sticks.

But his arrival at Vicarage Road saw him become second choice to Daniel Bachmann.

So far this season, the-23-year-old has been an unused substitute in 20 of the Hornets’ 44 league games, while he has been left out of the club’s match-day squad 24 times.

That’s a total of 1800 minutes he sat on the bench, not including injury time, according to Transfermarkt.

Okoye is the Super Eagles’ biggest bench warmer in Europe this season, according to statistics.

The £6m summer signing has only made two appearances and conceded two goals in each encounter.

His debut for Watford was against Reading in the FA Cup last July, while his second appearance was in a 2-0 loss to MK Dons in a Carabao Cup game weeks later.

He is still waiting for a league debut.

Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux to Watford)

Kalu was one of the celebrated signings at Watford in January 2022 but the winger has been rated an expensive flop at Vicarage Road after he joined the club for £3m.

Though injuries has also not been nice to the 26-year-old.

Kalu was a consistent performer in the Ligue 1 for Bordeaux before his EPL switch.

This season, he has made only 13 appearances (totaling 230 minutes) for the club since he joined from Bordeaux but his unimpressive display for the club has seen him become a yesterday’s man at the club.

Last summer, Kalu was told he was free to leave but couldn’t attract offers.

Emmanuel Dennis (Watford to Nottingham Forest)

Another flop is Nottingham Forest’s Dennis as he has failed to replicate his form at Watford at the City Ground this term, despite the Tricky Trees splashing £20m on him.

The forward was a key performer for Watford last season, scoring 10 Premier League goals as the Hornets were relegated from the topflight.

He managed a combined total of 15-goal contributions — 10 goals, five assists — which puts him in third place in Watford’s best-ever goals return by a player in the Premier League.

Troy Deeney’s 20-goal contribution (13 goals, seven assists) and Odion Ighalo’s 18-goal contribution (15 goals, three assists) during the 2015/16 season are the club’s best Premier League returns.

But so far this season, the former Club Brugge forward has only managed two goals and two assists in 18 games for Forest, who sit in 19th position in the EPL.

Paul Onuachu (Genk to Southampton)

The 28-year-old, 6ft 7in striker had scored 17 goals in 22 appearances for Genk this season and 85 goals from 134 matches in total for the Belgian club before he joined Southampton on deadline day.

But after nine games, the Nigerian is yet to score a goal nor make an assist despite having four shots on target from seven, though he was denied by the woodwork once.

Onuachu will be hoping for a miraculous turnaround with six games left to play.