John Ogu: Nigerian seeks fresh challenges outside Israel




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John Ogu was part or the Nigeria squad at the 2018 World Cup

Nigeria international John Ogu has admitted he wants to leave Israeli side Hapoel Beer Sheva at the end of the season.

The midfielder’s contract ends this summer and, despite talks with the five-time Israeli champions, he is keen to seek fresh challenges elsewhere.

It means the 30-year-old, who has won six domestic titles in Israel, will leave after five years at the club.

” I feel like what they are offering is not enough for me,” Ogu told BBC Sport.

“And I need a different challenge now. I feel like I can still offer a lot at the top level of European football.

“I hope something positive comes from them [Hapoel Beer Sheva] but if not I’ll move on to further my career somewhere else.

“I believe I have the ability to continue my career in Germany or Spain.”

After stints in Slovenia, Spain and Portugal, Ogu moved to Hapoel Beer Sheva in September 2014 after his contract with Academica de Coimbra was ended by mutual consent.

He has had a successful time at the club winning three successive league titles as well as lifting the Israeli Super Cup twice.

His time in Israel also saw him recalled to the national team and he was part of the Super Eagles squad at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

But after a difficult 2018/19 season which has seen second-placed Hapoel Beer Sheva twenty-seven points adrift of leaders Maccabi Tel Aviv, the Super Eagle is convinced it is the right time to leave.

“I achieved a lot in Israel but this year has been too bad for my team and for me personally,” the 2017 Israeli Cup winner added.

“That’s life, that’s football and now I am thinking ahead and looking forward to a greater challenge.

“I think I have the ability and the skills to achieve success elsewhere. Just waiting for my agent to know the next direction.”

He has made 186 Hapoel appearances, scoring 18 goals and providing eight assists.

At international level, Ogu has two goals in 22 appearances for the three-time African champions.

He played three group matches for Nigeria at the 2013 Fifa Confederations Cup and in three 2014 World Cup qualifiers, but was omitted from the squad for the finals in Brazil by coach Stephen Keshi.

He was part of his country’s squad at the 2018 World Cup but failed to make an appearance in Russia.



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