If Newcastle United fans were hoping for an exciting, powerful midfielder to get them on the edge of their seats next season, Rafael Benitez may have found the ideal candidate – even if he is hardly a household name.
And although you could be forgiven for greeting these rumours with a blank expression or even a disinterested shrug, the fact that Sevilla, Fenerbahce and Champions League semi-finalists Monaco are also reported to be interested should give an indication of Etebo’s undoubted talents.
Monaco, after all, owe their remarkable progression to plucking some of the world’s most talented young players. And, compared to Paul Pogba and crowned African football’s Most Promising Talent in 2015, Etebo has the potential to become arguably Nigeria’s first truly world class export.
He would certainly be the typical Newcastle United signing. At 21, and with a number of major European clubs reported to be interested, Etebo’s vast potential means the dollar signs will be flashing in the eyes of owner Mike Ashley.
Though that is not to say Newcastle supporters should treat a potential deal with suspicion. Etebo truly looks like the real deal and his lung-busting runs from deep midfield could perfectly complement the more subtle skills of Jonjo Shelvey.
The recently promoted Magpies may face a fight for his signature, however, with All Nigeria Soccer reporting that West Brom scouted Etebo in action during a recent international friendly against Senegal.
The Baggies are reportedly hoping to reinforce their midfield ranks with Sporting CP’s Euro 2016 winning metronome William Carvalho heavily linked. However, another talented youngster thriving in Portugal could be even better value.
Though if Etebo really is Africa’s answer to Paul Pogba, Newcastle should not wait around.