Chidera Ejuke: Nigeria winger ready for Bundesliga challenge with Hertha Berlin

3 weeks ago 349
Chidera Ejuke in action for CSKA MoscowChidera Ejuke featured 32 times in all competitions for CSKA Moscow last season, scoring five goals

Nigeria international Chidera Ejuke says leaving the ostracised Russian Premier League for German club Hertha Berlin on loan gives him a fresh challenge.

After five years in Europe which includes spells in Norway, the Netherlands and Russia, Ejuke admits it is best he gains experience from playing in a new environment.

"Moving to Europe was a big step, but one that I always wanted to take. I got to experience a number of new things," he told Hertha's website. external-link

"Getting to know new cultures and a different style of football in new countries is always exciting, and I'm looking forward to this now in Berlin.

"These experiences have definitely helped me grow as a person and a player too. My game has changed as a result. I'm just looking forward to getting to know the Bundesliga now."

Ejuke, whose deal with CSKA Moscow expires at the end of June 2024, has scored 10 goals and provided eight assists in 65 appearances since moving to the Russian capital from Dutch side Heerenveen in 2020.

Ejuke looking to revive Super Eagles career

Chidera Ejuke in action for NigeriaEjuke featured twice for Nigeria at this year's Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon

One of Ejuke's advisers said he took advantage of a Fifa rule allowing foreign players to leave Russia in order to progress his career.

"It was an important decision for Ejuke to go somewhere he can continue to make a career progression," the adviser told BBC Sport Africa.

"He started well in the national team but has since fallen down the pecking order and been overlooked by the new Nigeria coach.

"If he moves somewhere and plays regularly, he will hopefully get back into the national team and continue his development."

Ejuke has been capped eight times by Nigeria since making his debut in a 1-1 friendly draw with Tunisia in October 2020, and he made two appearances at this year's Africa Cup of Nations as the Super Eagles exited in the last 16.

However, Ejuke was overlooked by the three-time African champions for the two-legged 2022 World Cup play-off against Ghana in March and new coach Jose Peseiro did not select him for the first two qualifying matches for the 2023 Nations Cup.

Back in March, Fifa announced that foreign footballers playing in Russia could suspend their contracts and temporarily leave the country.

The move came after Russian clubs and national sides were suspended from all competitions "until further notice" by Fifa and Uefa - a decision which has been upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Ejuke follows in the footsteps of compatriot Sylvester Igboun by leaving the Russian Premier League.

Source Article