19 year Uzoho joins second-tier Spanish club, Elche on loan

Super Eagles’ 19 year old shot-stopper, who was the first choice goalkeeper at the just concluded 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Francis Odinaka Uzoho has reached an agreement with relegated Elche, to join the Spanish second division side on a season long loan for the new campaign.

After failing to hold down a place in the main squad at equally relegated Deportivo La Coruna, Uzoho will now aim to be number one choice at Elche, who have received him in a season long loan deal. Uzoho could be headed for a huge impact as first choice at Elche, who were thrown out of the top division in Spain as a punishment for not paying tax debts, despite finishing 13th on the table.

However, despite agreeing a loan deal with Deportivo La Coruna for Uzoho, the keeper’s move still has to be approved by the board of La Liga. With that done, Elche will immediately register Uzoho and he will automatically become their first choice goalkeeper, with two youth team shot stoppers set to deputise for him. Elche have already exceeded their budgetary limit and have to seek approval from Liga de Fútbol Profesional (LFP) before signing the Nigeria international.

Spanish clubs have spending limits denoting the maximum amount that each club can spend during the season, including spending in relation to players’ fixed and variable wages, social security contributions, collective bonuses and acquisition costs. Elche are in the market for a goalkeeper following the return of Unai Simón to Athlétic de Bilbao last week, and had to name a youth-team goalkeeper Adrián Real on the bench in their goalless draw with Granada last weekend.

Before now, Uzoho had been told he would remain third choice at Deportivo despite his exploits at the World Cup, such that moving to Elche will help him keep his spot as Eagles’ number one keeper ahead of the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifiers next month. Uzoho has seen his stock rise after he became one of the youngest goalkeepers in the history of the World Cup and no longer wants to play second fiddle at Deportivo.

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