Zaidu Sanusi was denied a move to West Ham United or Wolves by Porto coach Sergio Conceicao in the transfer window, the defender’s agent has told Own Goal Nigeria.
You only have to look at Luke Shaw to realise what sort of impact an increase in competition can have on a player’s career.
When Alex Telles joined Manchester United in a £27 million deal last summer, Shaw was at serious risk of losing his starting berth to the Brazil international.
Instead, the former Southampton man got his head down and returned fitter, faster and stronger than ever, ensuring Telles’ debut season in English football was spent largely on the sidelines.
And it seems Porto hope for a similar response from Sanusi, the £17 million Nigerian, after snapping up another left-back in the shape of one-time Bayer Leverkusen flyer Wendell.
Why did West Ham and Wolves miss out on Zaidu Sanusi
“We got the message the coach (Conceicao) wanted him to stay. It was unexpected as we thought he had one foot out of the club. He made it clear Zaidu is part of his plans and Wendell, the new left-back, isn’t coming in to take his spot,” says Sanusi’s agent.
“He explained how he believes the competition for a starting berth will improve Zaidu in the long run. He was also clear he sees Ivan Marcano as a centre-back, even though he played him more as a left-back recently.
“It’s a fresh start for Zaidu and he has to pick up pace again to make the spot his, like it has always been. He’s up for the challenge and hopefully he will triumph.”
At the start of the summer, Own Goal Nigeria reported Wolves were interested in a man who marked Cristiano Ronaldo out of the game during Porto’s Champions League triumph over Juventus last season.