By Ebenezer Bajela.
Along with massive hype comes massive pressure and while some footballers embrace the attention, others simply fade away into mediocrity but the latter is the story of Nigerian winger Samuel Kalu, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
On 26 January 2022, Kalu joined Premier League club Watford from Girondis Bordeauxon a three-and-a-half year deal until 2025.
During his stint with the French club, the 25-year-old scored 10 goals and provided eight assists in all competitions for the French side in 86 appearances.
Known for his burst of space and strength, the Nigerian was tipped for greatness when he made the move to the English Premier League with Watford.
After a year and four months in England, Kalu’s career has taken the wrong turn with the player barely included in the Hornet’s matchday squad.
Claudio Ranieri added Kalu to his rank to help salvage what was left of the club’s season, but rather than get into action straightaway, Kalu saw his debut delayed due to his inability to get a work permit, which would authorize him to play in England.
Two months after joining Watford, Kalu made his debut in a Premier League game against Arsenal March 6 where he made just a minute cameo in the Hornets’ 2-3 defeat to the Gunners.
Four days later, he made his second appearance in another 4-0 away loss to Wolves and ever since he was never again called into action until just three games to end of the 2021/22 season when the club have been relegated.
He made his first EPL start and was in action for 86 minutes in their 0-0 draw against draw in May and then featured for 90 minutes as the Hornets suffered a heavy 5-1 home defeat to Leicester City.
Kalu made just four appearances for Watford in his first season racking up a total of just 221 minutes.
Sometimes injuries or psychological issues cause a player’s career to take a nosedive and while one would have thought the player’s past health record could have been responsible for his lack of playing time in his first season, the 2022/23 season hasn’t gone better.
With the season drawing to a close, Kalu has only made nine appearances for Watford, playing a total of just 228 minutes from a possible 3,960 minutes.
After 44 rounds of matches played this season, the former Bordeaux player has made only two starts, came on as a substitute on seven occasions, and has not been included in the matchday squad on 35 occasions.
According to findings, Kalu has not suffered a single injury this season but has last been included in matchday squad January 2 when he featured for 29 minutes against Norwich.
While the club have never given any reason for his omission, the player himself has kept mute with nothing known or heard of him. He thus seems like a forgotten person.