Stoke City have surely landed a great player in Oghenekaro Etebo

Oghenekaro Etebo, Odion Ighalo, Leon Balogun and Francis Uzoho stand dejected after conceding the opening goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Croatia and...

New Stoke City man Etebo was impressive for Nigeria despite their World Cup loss to Croatia.

Oghenekaro Etebo of Nigeria looks on prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Croatia and Nigeria at Kaliningrad Stadium on June 16, 2018 in Kaliningrad, Russia.

Nigeria kicked off their World Cup campaign in Russia on a disappointing note on Saturday, losing 2-0 to Croatia in their opening clash in Group D.

The West Africans failed to create clear goalscoring chances against their European counterparts, and were undone by an own goal and a penalty which captain Luka Modric calmly converted.

New Stoke City man Oghenekaro Etebo deflected a Mario Mandzukic's header into his own net, and despite the clanger, the 22-year-old was unarguably Nigeria's best player on the pitch.

The midfield powerhouse covered himself in glory by covering every blade of grass, completing more passes, more dribbles and making more touches than any of his teammates.

Etebo's tenacious and tireless marking, movement and passing stood him out of the crowd, and given that he would have impressed every scout watching the game, Stoke City can only be glad to have secured his signature before the World Cup.

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...

The Potters are looking to bounce back immediately from their relegation to the Championship, and if they continue to make quality additions like Etebo's over the summer transfer window, the Britannia Stadium should be hosting Premier League games come 2019-2020.

Manager Gary Rowett's first signing arrived for £6.35million from Portuguese topflight side Feirense on a five-year-deal last week, and no doubt brings a lot to the table for Stoke.

Etebo spent the latter half of last season on loan at relegated La Liga side Las Palmas, featuring in 14 games and putting in energetic performances that caught the eyes.

The 13-time international cap Olympic Bronze medalist is an excellent dribbler and ball interceptor, and his versatility will surely come handy for Stoke in the Championship.

Apart from his ability to dominate in deep midfield, Etebo is also capable of playing a central midfield role, on the left flank as a winger and as a number 9.

Oghenekaro Etebo of Nigeria is challenged by Ivan Perisic of Croatia during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Croatia and Nigeria at Kaliningrad Stadium on June 16, 2018...

He is expected to feature in Nigeria's next two group World Cup games against Iceland and Argentina, and is bound to put in more eye-catching performances at the tournament.

Completing a deal for Etebo before the tournament is surely one of Stoke City's smartest moves this summer, and these Twitter reactions to his performance against Croatia say it all.

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