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Transfer Profile: Ighodaro Christian Osaguona

Jeju United have secured the services of yet another player in the summer transfer window as center forward Ighodaro Christian Osaguona has joined the club on a free transfer.  At 194 centimeters and 90 kilograms, the 28 year old Nigerian can be considered a target man in the box, the type of player Jeju have never had up front.  He should be ready to make his debut in the very near future, perhaps even next week when the team travels away to Jeolla Province to face two-time defending champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.  KLU's Branko Belan has a closer look at the new acquisition.
(Image via Jeju United)


Jeju United have invested a lot of effort into avoiding relegation at the end of the season by bringing in several players during the summer transfer window, which is just about to close.  Following the departures of Tiago Marques and Lee Eun-beom, the striking corps was beginning to look a little thin, and now with an injury to Lee Keun-ho, who came to the club on loan from Jeonbuk Hyundai, there was a need to bring in a replacement as he will be out indefinitely with a muscle fiber tear.

The islanders looked east for a replacement, and the man they found was Ighodaro Christian Osaguona, who has spent 2019 playing in the Persian Gulf Pro League for Zob Ahan Esfahan.  In twenty combined matches across all competitions this season, he has scored three times and added two assists.  In four ACL appearances this season, all starts, he scored once against UAE side Al-wasl in a 3-1 away win.

He has also had previous stops in Morocco, where he played for Raja Club Athletic Casablanca from the beginning of 2015 until the end of August the following year, after which he made stops in Belgium for KVC Westerlo and KV Mechelen, spending a year at each club.

Osaguona is a physical specimen, standing at 194 centimeters and 90 kilograms.  He could pose a serious aerial threat in the box, but word has it he is also very good with his feet.  The only two healthy center forwards in the squad now are Magno Cruz and Seo Jin-su, so Osaguona will have the opportunity to hit the ground running.

African players have never really chosen the K League as a destination during their playing careers, so the addition of Osaguona is definitely an intriguing one.  Jeju are looking to do something different, even if he will only be with the club until the end of the season.

Emile Mbamba, a Cameroonian striker played for Daegu FC back in the 2009 season, but for the player who had stints previously at Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem and Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel at the beginning of his career, where he made over one hundred appearances and scored twenty-six goals for the two clubs combined, he only played in seven matches in the K League and was released in June of that year.

Alex Asamoah is the last African player to have played in the K League, as he had a short loan stint with Gyeongnam FC in 2010.  It didn't seem to be a good fit for the Ghanaian striker.  He had won the Ghana Premier League with his club side Asante Kotoko as the top goal scorer the previous year, but only made two appearances for Gyeongnam and returned to his homeland after staying on only six months.

Osaguona has a chance to break new ground.  Should he be given opportunities to play, and if he does well, it could encourage other African players to consider Korea as a landing spot in the future.  If there is one thing for sure, he is excited at the chance to come to the island and help the team win.

"I am very happy to be in Jeju and I know what the team wants to do.  I want to demonstrate my ability on the pitch with my skills and work hard with my new teammates," he said.

Jeju next plays Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors away on July 31st, followed by back to back home dates against title contenders Ulsan Hyundai on August 3rd and Sangju Sangmu a week later.

The photo was shot on location as the club looks to promote local businesses and tourism on the island.




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