Oghenekaro Etebo has confirmed that he turned down offers from English Premier League clubs before joining Stoke City in the Championship.
The Potters made the 22-year-old their first summer signing after completing a £6.3 million deal with Feirense in June – a move that could have been hijacked following the player’s fine displays at the 2018 Fifa World Cup.
Etebo was one of the outstanding players for Nigeria in Russia with his dominant performances in the heart of the Super Eagles’ midfield.
However, the Olympic bronze medalist who is currently with his new teammates in Germany disclosed that his discussion with the staff at bet365 Stadium prompted his decision to move to London.
“In truth, I had options in the Premier League,” Etebo told Stoke City+ .
“But, like I said, I signed even before I went to the World Cup because of the relationship and the conversations I had with people here. I was very happy to join. If I wasn’t then I wouldn’t be here.
“I’m excited and indeed I’m very pleased – but it’s not going to be easy. Let’s see how it goes.”
The Potters were relegated to the second tier of the English league after an underwhelming Premier League campaign that saw them finish in 19th place.
However, the midfielder is confident of the team’s credentials in making a swift return to the top-flight.
“I had friends I spoke to who told me about the tradition of the club, that there are good people, nice people you can work with,” he continued.
“Stoke is not a small club. Everyone knows Stoke is a Premier League club.
“Even if things didn’t go well and they got relegated, it’s for us to make sure we get everything right and we get up at the top end of the league.
“It’s important for us to do well and to make sure everything goes well.”
Etebo played various roles in the midfield while on loan at Las Palmas last season and also for Nigeria at the 2018 Fifa World Cup. And he has stated his readiness to fit in any role in Gary Rowett’s squad.
“I’ll play depending on what we’ve got and the situation of the game,” he said.
“My main position is attacking midfield but if the team needs me defensively, that’s what I’ll do. I’ll always give my best.”