Savio Nsereko? Remember him? Well now he is trying to salvage his controversial and troubled career in Israel.
But do you remember the guy who previously held the record as West Ham’s most expensive signing?
When Gianfranco Zola and Gianluca Nani splurged £9 million on 19-year-old German youth international Savio Nsereko in January 2009 Scott Duxbury, the CEO at Upton Park, had this to say about the player:
"We are delighted to sign Savio, particularly with the fierce competition for his services across Europe. He is an exciting prospect, who Gianfranco Zola believes will prove a valuable asset for this club now and in the years to come. It is a significant investment and shows our determination to continue moving this club forward."
Today it is being reported that the player has now agreed a free transfer move to Israeli side Hapoel Ironi Akko. Don’t be worried if you have never heard of them because either had I; and I did a dissertation piece on the role of football in the development of Israel post partition.
They are that obscure…
Last season they finished bottom of the Israeli Premier League table but survived by two points in the Bottom Half Playoff; so they will be playing in the top tier in Israel next term but in terms of famous players for reference point I am sorry but I have nothing.
At just 23-years-old by this time Nsereko was supposed to be doing all manner of wonderful things but the Ugandan born forward has seen his career spiral out of control since his move from Brescia to London.
After just ten games for The Hammers he failed to score and left for Fiorentina. In that time he spent much of his time reportedly AWOL, out on loan and generally ticking off the establishment at La Viola.
He spent time on loan with Bologna, Juve Stabia and 1860 Munich whilst also sampling football in Bulgaria and Romania with Chernomerets Burgas and FC Vaslui respectively.
After yet another unsuccessful stint back in Germany with SpVgg Unterhaching the one time under-20 international went right down the football ladder to play for Viktoria Koln in German football’s fourth tier.
He once again faltered and still hasn’t found the net since he was playing for Brescia as a teenager.
He will now hope that Israel is his saving grace so that he is not forever known as the £9 million West Ham flop, who, once spent three weeks in a Thai jail after faking a kidnapping to extort money from a family member.
Unfortunately that is a pretty difficult tag to shake off.
image: © Tom Cuppens