Moses Simon: Meet the Nigerian starlet interesting numerous Premier League sides
The 2017/18 Premier League campaign is far from over. Besides Manchester City seemingly wrapping up the title as far back as December; West Brom bering all but certain to go down, all is still there to play for. Yet teams have had are already scheming ahead of the next. Nigerian sensation Moses Simon is among few names on the radar of many of these sides. Whether or not they stay in the top division.
Although contracted to Gent, Simon seems set to be the next Super Eagle that will end up in England. The 22-year-old has established himself a frightful flanker in two-and-a-half years in Ghent. Tottenham Hotspur, Stoke City and Swansea spotted his traits quite early but passed on him. However, Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle United may not ponder meeting his £13million valuation, which may catapult after the World Cup.
Born in Jos, Nigeria’s north central region, Moses’ footballing journey began at GBS Academy, aged just eight. He would spend the next decade there, receiving the same tutelage as Leicester City’s Ahmed Musa. Despite his remarkable skill set, Simon’s biggest struggle was, in fact, flaunting them when necessary. He scuffed a couple of local trials and didn’t do any better when travelling abroad to Ajax.
But ultimately, Simon was handed his maiden professional deal by AS Trencin in 2014. Without any audition or exhibition. A massive gamble, to be sure, considering the Nigerian was raw and very much unproven. One year after, however, the Slovak side was thankful they did. Simon exploded into life in Eastern Europe, showing exceptional pace, trickery and bite. He showed just how he could perform on a bigger stage when afforded a chance.
Operating on the flanks didn’t limit his productivity or his desire to roam. Simon was at the heart of everything positive for his new side, burying 17 goals himself including a hat-trick on his Europa League debut. His superb offensive inputs aided the club finish second. Ajax returned for him. Other top dogs were alerted; Spurs, Liverpool were included but he opted for Gent.
Simon continued his meteoric rise at Ghelamco Arena. In his first campaign, he found the target seven times as Buffalo's swept the domestic double. Simon wasn’t done yet. He added one more the following campaign and notched five in Belgium's Pro League regular season. For his country, Simon is a key cog with four strikes in 14 outings. The 22-year-old is almost certain of a spot in Gernot Rohr’s flight to Russia.
What will Simon bring to the Premier League?
Simon's greatest asset is frightening pace. Adept at playing on either flank, he’s eternally grateful cutting inside. Not blessed with physique, at 5 ft 6 in he’s in fact among the meagrest. Yet, the Nigerian uses his petit frame to great effect. He spots empty spaces between the defenders and makes deadly runs into those spaces. A shrewd player, he usually gets inside the box to benefit from crosses from the opposite flank. Simon is equally effective in transitions, made possible, by his decent dribbling quality and composure.
Either Newcastle or Brighton will suit Simon's style. Wherever he ends, expect plenty of pace and goals. As long as there are no trials before.