La Spezia lies several hours’ drive north of Rome, hugging the Ligurian Sea with open arms, and rocky shores. The little brother of Genoa, Spezia never was a major center for calcio. Yet, thanks to a working relationship with the infamous Abuja Football College of Nigeria, Spezia came across two ultra-talented players in Sadiq Umar, and his brother, Abdullahi Nura. The latter a wingback, Sadiq began his career in Italy with a wondrous start: 26 goals in 24 matches. His performances warranted a call from the first team, and he sat on the bench for Spezia’s 2014/15 Serie B campaign, in a handful of matches.
In a summer mercato filled with the likes of Mohammed Salah and Edin Džeko, it’s no surprise that not many (including myself) did not notice that Roma had purchased Sadiq and his brother, for a fee believed about 3 million euros total. All before it is October, Sadiq already has 6 goals and 1 assist in the two matches played. That’s right, two matches.
In last year’s 2-0 loss to Spezia, Primavera coach Alberto De Rossi stated,
Nura, with his pace, has an incredible ability to disrupt the opponent’s attack, take the ball, and start the attack for his team. Sadiq, with his physicality, reminds me of a better Tallo (who also had big figures of 17 goals in 18 matches for the Primavera).
Already towering over his opponents at 6’1″/1.85m, Sadiq’s physical presence must bewilder opponents, yet he will have to develop more aspects to his game if he hopes to make Roma’s first team in the future. Just tonight, Džeko and il capitano went down with injury, leaving only Ezequiel Ponce for fit strikers. With more 4 goal games and dominant performances, then maybe, just maybe, we will see Sadiq get the nod this season. At the very least, Roma has a very prospective brotherhood in its ranks, with Sadiq and Nura on the up.