How Emenike’s form turned nightmare for Robin van Persie 

Emmanuel Emenike

Ex-Super Eagles forward, Emmanuel Emenike, is gradually getting to his best at Turkish giants, Fenerbahçe.

The 29-year-old striker who joined the Istanbul club in 2013 has only spent one complete season with the club – enduring miserable loan spells at Al Ain and West Ham.

At Abu Dhabi side, Al Ain, in 2015, Emenike scored an impressive seven goals in 11 games but was constantly criticised for his attitude on and off the pitch.

This forced the Arab side to abruptly end his loan stint and a move back to Turkey was eminent. Then West Ham came knocking and the Nigerian couldn’t refuse the Hammers.

The club paid a fee of £730,000 to sign the Nigerian striker in January till end of the season with an option of a permanent deal for £8.1million.

Emenike was in cloud nine. The deal was his best chance to permanently quit Fenerbahçe to play in the Barclays Premier League.

Prior to this, he had been a victim of alleged abuse by his own fans in a league game in March 2015 – the striker angrily removed his shirt and marched towards the sidelines.

So any route away from Turkey and Fenerbahçe was a welcome one by the player.

“I have always known West Ham as a great club and I am very, very happy and very, very excited that I am here, I really hope it works out, ” Emenike told West Ham TV on joining the club.

But sadly it didn’t work out. Two goals in 16 appearances wasn’t what Slaven Bilic needed – meaning another frustrating return to Fenerbahçe.

Meanwhile, during his sojourn away, the capital club were able to secure the signing of former Arsenal and Manchester United striker, Robin van Persie.

But luckily for Emenike, the veteran Dutchman equally didn’t impress in his absence. He managed just 15 goals in 36 league games which meant they were unable to retain their domestic title.

Now with Vítor Pereira in charge at Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, Emenike’s fortune with the club could change drastically.

The powerful striker has so far been impressive in pre-season – scoring thrice in two games and also had a change in attitude.

A double in the 3-1 win over Romanian side, Voluntari, Saturday, was followed by another strike on Wednesday in the 2-1 win against Panathinaikos.

“Emenike is an explosive player and he gets his opponents unsettled with his runs,” Fenerbahçe boss, Pereira, admitted.

“We don’t have explosive players like him in the team which is a good one for us this season.

“I’m being sincere, Emenike will be one of our most important weapons this season.”

And reports in Turkey suggests this latest turnaround has made the Yellow Canaries to consider selling the Van Persie just like former United teammate, Nani, who moved to Valencia.

“Van Persie? We’re waiting for buyers, if he wants to be sold,” Fenerbahçe president, Aziz Yildirim, told AMK Spor.