Hyderabad FC have signed Bartholomew Ogbeche on a one-year deal, the Indian Super League (ISL) outfit have confirmed. The 36-year-old striker will turn out for the Nizams for the 2021-22 season.
At first glance, it does appear to be an extremely smart move as Ogbeche is currently the third-highest goal-scorer in the history of the ISL. Moreover, he will be joining Hyderabad FC from Mumbai City FC, with whom he won the ISL double last season.
The ISL double refers to the League Winners Shield and the ISL Trophy, which was won by the Islanders in the 2020-21 campaign. Ogbeche played an important role in their title triumph by scoring eight goals in 23 appearances.
Here's what the Nigerian striker had to say after signing for Hyderabad FC:
“I am thrilled to have signed for Hyderabad FC. One could easily see from the outside that he (Manolo Marquez) has a clear idea about his style of play and what he wants from his players, which is an admirable attribute that I find in him. I’m very excited to be playing under him.”
Hyderabad FC's new signing Ogbeche is a seasoned campaigner
Ogbeche has had an illustrous career so far. He was part of the Nigerian World Cup squad in the 2002 edition of the tournament. Overall, he has won 11 caps for the national team, scoring three times for the Super Eagles.
The veteran striker has played for multiple clubs in Europe. He had stints in France, Spain and England, representing clubs like Paris Saint-Germain, Deportivo Alaves and Middlesbrough to name a few.
He finally joined the Indian Super League in the 2018-19 season when he signed for NorthEast United. He went on to score 12 goals in 18 games for the Highlanders before signing for the Kerala Blasters for next season. Ogbeche had another impressive season, scoring 15 goals in his solitary campaign for the Blasters.
His hot form in front of goal earned him a move to Mumbai City for the 2020-21 season. The Nigerian striker completed his most successful season (from the team's point of view) and will now join Hyderabad FC for the upcoming season.
Ogbeche has scored 35 goals at a rate of 0.61 goals per match and Hyderabad will be hoping for him to fire on all cylinders next season.