IKENWA NNABUOGOR reckons Randers of Denmark striker Stephen Odey could be heading to bigger things after a rather difficult time at KRC Genk with his burst of goals in Denmark for FC Randers…
It was a matter of time before for Stephen Odey hopped on the foreign train to swell the Nigerian player’s ranks in Europe after grabbing the headlines for MFM FC in the NPFL three years ago.
But a lift to Belgian side KRC Genk after a great Swiss sojourn with FC Zurich, went awry as the Lagos-born star could hardly impress at Genk, forcing him to be shipped on loan to Amiens in France.
Opportunities at goal were consigned to the archives as Odey would endure a rather unforgettable moments in Belgium, while his compatriot, Paul Onuachu, shattered all the individual records including the elusive Ebony Shoe Award that took Onuachu 26 years to put Nigerian players in the individual honour’s spotlight again.
The loan move away to France at Amiens brought back fresh hopes for the 23-year-old Odey, who has been capped once by the Super Eagles and he breathed his career a fresh life.
Odey hadn’t forgotten his scoring boots in Switzerland after all as he managed to justify his much desired loan move netting six times in 28 games for the French second division side.
With Onuachu still battling transfer rumours and still hanging on at Genk, and Anglo-Nigerian Ike Ugbo exchanging Chelsea colours for Genk’s, Odey was on the move again, this time to Denmark as Randers added him to their ranks that also included two other Nigerians.
Randers, modest Danish side, were back in Europe since 2015/16 season and needed the Odey reinforcement in the attack to better their UEFA Europa record, and it was Odey’s goals that have helped keep hopes alive for the Danish side in their first ever European cup group stage qualification albeit in the newly-introduced UEFA Europa Conference League, having dropped down from the UEFA Europa League.
Odey salvaged a vital point for his side from the spot on stoppage time to share spoils at Czech’s Jablonec Thursday night to maintain an unbeaten run in their group that also includes Cluj Napoca and Dutch side AZ Alkmaar.
Odey’s brace at Jablonec was his third (a brace a piece in the league and FA Cup) for his new side since he joined and it appears he will fire in a lot more before the season ends to spark a rush for his signature from the mainstream Europe.
Red-hot Odey is also hot in the league as his four goals in five league games thus far have instantly turned him a fans’ favourite and one of the leading scorers in the Danish league.
Odey’s Randers’ business is far from finished as he is out to prove a point at least to prove to Genk eggheads he is a good piece of business.
Options stare back at Odey – he could be heading back to Genk as Onuachu’s one foot is out of Genk and bigger clubs in mainstream Europe could pounce on him should his continue his free-scoring run.
At last count, he’s buried eight goals in nine appearances for his new side in all competitions – two fewer than his overall efforts in front of goals last season in France.
For a player who has managed paltry 11 appearances in incredibly meagre 201 minutes in Genk’s colours in a transfer which had held so much promise from Switzerland, Odey’s odyssey is indeed an interesting one.
The story has just begun for the exciting marksman, who was among the few players who turned on the lights in the NPFL to jump on the Euro train.
With his goals alerting clubs outside of Denmark, smart money will be on him to put the dark memories of Genk behind to fire himself to more glory.
Before then, Odey has the licence to keep scoring goals in Denmark