Could Sheffield Wednesday sign Africa's next great midfield talent on a free?

Carlos Carvalhal, manager of Sheffield Wednesday laughs with the fans before the Sky Bet Championship match between Huddersfield Town and Sheffield Wednesday at John Smith's Stadium on...

Oghenekaro Etebo is arguably the most exciting young midfielder in African football - and he's been watched by Sheffield Wednesday.

Nigerian forward Oghenekaro Etebo (C) runs past South African defence during the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifyer football match between South Africa and Nigeria at Goodswill Akpabio...

Nigerian football has had its fair share of nearly men in recent years. From John Obi Mikel to Peter Odemwingie to Vincent Enyeama and Yakubu, the Super Eagles have boasted a raft of players who can be described as good rather than great.

Oghenekaro Etebo, however, could end the nation’s long wait for first truly top class footballer since Jay Jay ‘so-good-they-named-him-twice’ Okocha. There’s a reason he’s been likened to Paul Pogba.

Paul Pogba #6 of Manchester United keeps the ball away from Fernandinho #25 of Manchester City at NRG Stadium on July 20, 2017 in Houston, Texas.

The 21-year-old, who is earning rave reviews in Portugal with Feirense, was named African football’s Most Promising Player in 2015. Etebo also shone at the Olympics in Rio, scoring four times in the opening group stage match against Japan.

A year earlier, he finished as the top scorer when inspiring Nigeria to the Under-23 African Cup of Nations title.

Star in the making

And, perhaps most intriguingly of all, Etebo has been watched by Sheffield Wednesday. Portuguese outlet Record claim that the Championship club were one of a number of sides who sent scouts to watch Feirense travel to Benfica on Friday night.

With three Portuguese players in Wednesday’s squad and an Iberian manager at the helm in Carlos Carvalhal, it is not unknown for the Yorkshire giants to send scouts to Portugal.

Sporting Lisbon's forward Gelson Martins (L) vies with Feirense's Nigerian midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo during the Portuguese league football match CD Feirense vs Sporting CP at the...

Though with Etebo in action against Benfica at the Estadio da Luz, there is a genuine chance that Wednesday could have one of African football’s most exciting talents on their shortlist.

Etebo’s contract at Feirense expires in the summer. Watch this space.

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