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Unsuccessful affair: What does the future hold for Watford's Isaac Success?

Tuesday 10th July 2018

Isaac Success was only 20 when Watford smashed its transfer record to acquire his services. Forget modern-day football's increased prices, the deal simply implied the Hornets sensed some ripe traits beyond his youth. Two years on, name aside, the Nigerian has been an utter dud in Hertfordshire. 

The stage was set for Jack Wilshere. Bournemouth visited Vicarage Road with the Englishman handed a first start since joining on loan. Basically, he just had to put up a good shift. At 2-2, Wilshere was afforded a glorious opportunity to steal three points for the visitors. He spurned it miserably. 

Moments later he was substituted. Wilshere had to wait a couple more weeks to clock 90 minutes. He hadn't done so in 20 games spanning over two years. That’s fair compared to goal drought which lingered since May 2015. But while the Arsenal loanee went missing, Success stood out for Hornets. 

Similar to Wilshere, the Nigerian had battled various degrees of injuries since a club-record switch from Granada. He was under some pressure to justify the mighty outlay on his head. Faithful were increasingly growing frustrated. Despite being just a cameo appearance, Success proved his huge reputation in Spain wasn’t all hype after all. 

Both players took different trajectory after that game. Wilshere somehow rediscovered his form that earned a national recall and ultimately a return to prominence at Arsenal. Success, meanwhile, expected to progress, has disappeared. A once-promising career now risks collapse due to injury and an extravagant lifestyle. 

The injuries and voodoo

Success is unquestionably talented. He is quick, strong and confident with daring and incisive dribbling – making him a handful for opposing defences. His end product is quite a bit hit-and-miss, though, with just six in over 30 appearances for Granada. Success’ ability to slot in anywhere in attack is priceless. Yet staying fit remains a crucial issue. 

He has endured four spells on the sideline in two years at Vicarage Road. Success joined the club with a facial fracture which lasted almost three months. Then successive hamstring bugs followed thwarting his debut season. The last term, he battled a knee injury before heading to Malaga on loan in February. 

There were even reports associating his reoccurring enigma with black magic. It was claimed that the Nigerian is being witch-hunted and cursed with an injury spell. However, as much as the practice is still very much common in Sub-saharan Africa, Success’ injury problem isn’t isolated. 

He endured a similar fate at four different points in Spain. Success barely racked up above 20 matches under his belt bar his final season. His youth days weren't dissimilar, either. During the FIFA U17 World Cup in 2013, Success appeared only during the group phase. He was Nigeria’s first choice in attack and vice-captain but had to watch from the bench as Manchester City's Kelechi Iheanacho shoved the team to glory.  

Music and nightlife 

Beyond football, Success has another passion: music. He has his own label, IS Music. As with other entertainers, he is in love with the nightlife which has negatively influenced his career. Success was at the centre of a sex scandal involving four escorts last year. He hasn’t started a game for the club since that episode. 

What does the future hold? 

Success is keen to make an impact this term. Unlike previous, he began working on his fitness ahead of teammates. There's not been any news about his sometimes extreme social life. Javi Garcia appears to be a fan, having followed the Nigerian during his time in Spain. He could just be the man to do what two others failed: keep him fit to unlock the greatness and make Success successful. 

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Toby Prince

If the sport has 11-men on each side, a ball and lasts for 90 minutes then I'll write about it. Simply put, I'm an unrepentant soccer freak that other freaks will, however, call a geek. I do find time for music when not watching the beautiful game, though and have been known to produce the odd track. 


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