The pair of Remo Stars players Ochowechi Salefu and Victor Mbaoma have left Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side MFM FC and have agreed in principle to join Rivers United and Akwa United respectively, thepredictorng.com understands.
Salefu and Mbaoma left MFM after they were not offered any deal by the Lagos club billed to compete from the preliminary stage of this year’s CAF Champions League.
It is understood that MFM will not be fortifying their playing personnel at the moment, which is an order beyond head coach Fidelis Ilechukwu and even the club director Emmanuel Adeyemi despite the departure of a few high-profile players who helped them finish second in the NPFL last season.
Replacing high-profile departures
Two of MFM’s top performers last season, Stephen Odey and Oladele Oshobe, left the club before the season came to conclusion.
Odey who was the club’s top scorer in the league last season completed a move to Swiss club FC Zurich and it meant that his superb partnership with Sikiru Olatunbosun was clipped. Earlier than that Oshobe had left for a club in Cyprus.
Things have got to a head at MFM in the off-season. Their remaining experienced out-and-out striker Austine Ogunye has switched to rivals Lobi Stars.
Ilechukwu had identified the duo of Salefu and Mbaoma to ease the quality of playing personnel thinning out at the club until things hit a bad patch.
Hint on Salefu’s next destination
On Tuesday, Rivers United spokesman Sammy Wejinya confirmed that Salefu has joined the Port Harcourt club after the player was sighted among the playing staff of MFM in Kano during the NPFL Invitational Tournament.
“I can confirm that one of the best midfielders in the Nigeria Professional Football League has joined Rivers United,” Wejinya told Channels TV Sports on Tuesday morning.
“He has started training with the team and his addition is good for the team’s midfield.”
Remo Stars sources also confirmed that Mbaoma is heading to AITEO Cup holders Akwa United after he was initially linked with Kano Pillars and then MFM.
MFM’s hope hang on Olatunbosun, Onuwa, Okorom & co
With the chance of bolstering their squad with Salefu and Mbaoma gone, Ilechukwu will now look within his playing personnel to save a situation that looks pitiable already as they prepare to battle on three fronts in the NPFL, the CAF Champions League and in the AITEO Cup this year.
Chukwuka Onuwa, Olatunbosun, Stanley Okorom, Adegboyega Adekunle, Waheed Adebayo and Jonathan Zikiye are among the players who the MFM manager will look up to this season. It is however the number nine position that Ilechukwu will worry about as he will have to work with Adekunle who impressed at the NPFL pre-season competition and Waheed.
MFM will also have to do enough to stave off very serious interests from the big guns in the NPFL for the duo of Olatunbosun and Onuwa with 12 days to the start of the new NPFL season.
© The Predictor