Onyekuru completes loan move to Galatasaray

Thursday, 12 July, 2018 42comments  |  Jump to last
Updated Galatasaray have announced that they have come to arrangement with Everton over a loan transfer for Henry Onyekuru.

The Nigerian striker was due to return to Anderlecht for another season-long move but he informed the Belgian club that he did not want to play for them again after he blamed them for withholding him from their first-team towards the end of last season.

Onyekuru, signed by the Blues a year ago from Eupen for £6.8m, was loaned back to Belgium with Anderlecht to gain more experience and become a more regular member of Nigeria's national side in order to earn enough caps to qualify for a work permit in England.

He sustained a serious knee injury, however, and was sidelined for months, only returning to fitness late in 2017-18. Anderlecht voiced concerns over his readiness to return to full action, however.

Now, after reports of a potential loan to Borussia Moenchengladbach came to nothing, has secured a move to Turkey for the coming season with Galatasaray after passing a medical.

Under the terms of the deal, Everton will receive a €800,000 loan fee while the player himself will get a salary of €1.2m.  

Reader Comments (42)

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Mike Gaynes
1 Posted 09/07/2018 at 16:16:17
Wish him the best. His relationship with his Anderlecht manager couldn't have gotten any worse... Vanhaezebrouck's favorite hobby was ripping Henry a new one in the press.

Time for the young man to grow up, get his stuff together and start expressing that marvelous talent.

Kristian Boyce
2 Posted 09/07/2018 at 17:25:38
I'm a little confused. Wasn't the whole idea of keeping him playing in Belgium was to get him an EU passport also, due to their easier residency requirements?
Tony Everan
3 Posted 09/07/2018 at 17:39:09
Will Onyekuru get a game for us before his contract expires?
Stephen Davies
4 Posted 09/07/2018 at 17:39:58
Kristian.Yes youre right.

Even more confusing is that we won't be in the EU after March... (Oh, hold on a sec...)

Barry Connor
5 Posted 09/07/2018 at 17:47:32
Sorry, but can anyone explain why, if we are EU members, we can't issue work permitson the same basis as another EU Member (Belgium)?

Surely, if he qualifies in one EU country, Freedom of Movement should mean that it applies to ALL EU countries?
Fran Mitchell
7 Posted 09/07/2018 at 18:17:48
Barry (#5), because — contrary to all the Daily Mail, Sun, BBC etc bullshit news — the UK has much tougher immigration laws than other EU countries.

And our hope isn't that he gets a Belgian passport either, but that he becomes a regular for Nigeria. That should be enough for him to get a passport. If he doesn't become a regular for Nigeria, then we probably won't want him playing for us anyway.

What annoys me is, if the lad was signed by Man Utd or someone, the panel that decides if someone can be considered 'special talent' and get a work permit without having the caps would probably grant the decision. With his reputation, one would expect he could get a permit.

Steve Ferns
8 Posted 09/07/2018 at 18:22:33
Barry, the EU allows all member countries to set their own policies for citizenship. They just say that citizens have freedom of movement. So, no, Henry can't spend a year in Belgium, a year in France, and then on to Spain, and request a passport. I was concerned that he came to Everton for his rehabilitation and wondered what this meant for his passport application as the 3 years in Belgium has to be constant and accumulative and you are only allowed to spend a very short period of time out of the country on vacation or business.

But as Kristian says, UK should be out of the EU come next July and so freedom of movement of workers might not allow him to come to Everton and play as a Belgian citizen.

John Wilson
9 Posted 09/07/2018 at 18:30:52
The EU Freedom of Movement will be over when we leave the EU. The UK is only permitting those who have stayed in the UK for a significant time.

No idea how this affects footballers outside the EU though. If no one can move in the EU to the UK anymore I don't know how staying in Belgium would help either.

As the fella is Nigerian also he could have benefitted from an EU regulation if he were family to someone living in the EU. It seems the Nigerian has to get in the UK based on his own merits.

On the ballot paper it never said "Do you want to leave the EU even if X, Y, Z could happen, and it will affect your favourite football team because it will be harder to bring in players outside the EU, in the EU, and in inner and outer space?" It just said "Do you want to leave the EU?"

Paul Tran
10 Posted 09/07/2018 at 18:36:16
British jobs for British footballers. Get rid of the forriners. Will of the people, innit?
Andrew McLean
13 Posted 09/07/2018 at 20:06:30
None of it matters unless he actually starts playing again, scoring goals and representing Nigeria. Nigeria currently have 4 matches shceduled before the end of December and one in March 2019. He's got to put a shift in, first is in September.
Ian Burns
20 Posted 09/07/2018 at 22:00:43
So, putting Brexit to one side please, I am still confused over this qualification for Henry to play in the UK.

I see that Henry would have to remain in Belgium (or Europe?) to gain his three years residency allowing him to join us. How does that affect his qualification if he is going to Turkey?

If that is a stupid question, I apologise... but I have had a gin or two and I am obviously missing something – apart from the lime.

Paul Tran
21 Posted 09/07/2018 at 22:05:46
Ian, Turkey isn't in the EU, so that's a stumbling block, unless the rule is based on the parent club. Not sure on that one.

There's a part of me that thinks none of the clubs involved have thought about any of this. I mean, football clubs can do what they want, can't they?

Steve Ferns
22 Posted 09/07/2018 at 22:07:37
Ian, his stay in England at Everton for rehab may have ended that. If not, a move to Turkey would end any chance of a Belgian passport.

I suppose the idea behind a Turkey move is to get him playing and playing well and then into the Nigeria team and then, come the end of the next season, we can argue he's a special talent or that injury prevented him from getting enough caps.

Kristian Boyce
23 Posted 09/07/2018 at 22:19:57
One of the immigration topics that came up for a post-Brexit was the loosening of requirements for Commonwealth citizens. Which bizarrely might be a possibility for him now as he's pretty much struck out on the Belgium residency.

I know that the NHS and other industries bring in staff from around the world under the skilled worker Commonwealth visas, I wonder if this would be a possibility for a football player?

Paul Tran @21, This was the club who gave Nyarko a 5-year contract on a 4-year visa, so anything is possible with us.

Ian Burns
24 Posted 09/07/2018 at 22:40:03
Paul (#21), your second paragraph is probably more true than you think! – Thanks

Steve (#22), I would have thought that was a gamble too far in presuming he would be picked for Nigeria and then get him into the UK as a "special talent". However, having said, that is probably the only conclusion one can draw from this strange case of our Henry. Thanks.

Alan J Thompson
25 Posted 10/07/2018 at 05:56:20
Strikes me as very strange that you can pay someone to play in a foreign country but can't bring him to Britain and pay him to do the same here; it is not as though his services abroad are indispensable.

As for whose laws apply where; FREE JULIAN ASSANGE!

Wot, the Law an ass!

Rob Baker
27 Posted 10/07/2018 at 08:44:42
Bizarre signing. He will never play for EFC.
Derek Taylor
28 Posted 10/07/2018 at 09:24:14
I thought we were trying to get rid of these marginal players — not find ways to keep them?
Rob Young
29 Posted 10/07/2018 at 09:44:48
Is he actually any good at all?

His record in the Belgian league doesn't impress me much. Anyone seen him play?

Dean Johnson
32 Posted 10/07/2018 at 12:16:55
I'm really not interested in My Onyekuru until he stops arguing with people and starts playing regular football really well.

Alan J Thompson
37 Posted 11/07/2018 at 15:48:42
Well said John (#34), it's the same at Everton, all right wingers, Bolasie, Walcott and before them Lennon and Deulofeu, absolutely nobody on the left. As for Brexit, well, we've brought in a Dutchie and a Portugeezer. And Globalism; have you ever tried getting a Nigerian in from Belgium while rich Iranians fly in from Monte Carlo willy nilly, we've been Farhad alright.
Martin Nicholls
38 Posted 12/07/2018 at 19:45:37
Isn't all this to do with work permits rather than EU passports? So far as I can make out, a player from anywhere in the World can get a work permit to play in this country if he has the requisite number of International caps or alternatively is deemed a "special talent" ie if under either criterion he is considered good enough. If that is correct then does it matter where Henry plays his club football so long as his performances impress Nigerian team selectors sufficiently for them to pick him?
Fran Mitchell
39 Posted 12/07/2018 at 22:06:42
Here's hoping he does well, plays well in the Champions League, and comes to Everton in 12 months ready to take the Premier League by storm. And Turkey is a more competative league than Belgium, so that is a plus.

By then he should have played sufficiently for Nigeria to get a work permit.

From what i've read he's quick, skillful, a good dribbler and can finish. What's not to like? And the 6,8 million we paid for him is buttons in todays' market.

Mike Gaynes
40 Posted 12/07/2018 at 23:36:33
Fran, I saw him twice last fall in CL group stage games and he's more than quick, he's lightning in a bottle. Loves to take on defenders and scorch them. But he needs to learn to play the game, to do his work. Looked lazy to me when he wasn't on the ball or running behind defenders. Vanhaezebrouck's infamous comment was that Henry "always lets himself down."
Frank Wade
41 Posted 12/07/2018 at 23:48:05
The work permits are based on a percentage of games played for his country in past 2 seasons. Nigeria are ranked 48th in FIFA rankings, so he needs to play 75% of games in next 2 years. There are also other factors around size of fee, wages offered and playing 30% of games in a Euro competition. I can't see him getting enough points to qualify this way, so all going well and he impresses in Turkey, we may see him in two years time. He'll be like a new signing.

See work permit regulations here Link

If Brexit goes ahead, the English clubs will be making a case to change the rules regarding foreign players. to allow signing of EU players as before. Every time I hear of a work permit problem like this, I wonder how did Man Utd manage to get permits for Brazilians Fabio and Rafael da Silva.

Michael Spear
42 Posted 12/07/2018 at 00:14:20
I recently asked one of our GPs, Dr Pearl Onyekuru, here in Abbots Langley near Watford, if Henry was any relation. Sadly, no. "Probably just from the same part of Nigeria" she said, adding with a smile "but you're not the first to ask". And I thought I was the only Evertonian in the village...
Victor Yu
43 Posted 13/07/2018 at 02:18:41
That means he won't get a EU passport and most likely will not be able to play for us?
Fran Mitchell
44 Posted 13/07/2018 at 03:19:05
There are 5 qualifying games for the 2019African Cup of Nations still to play, plus say, 5 friendlies (estimate). If he plays a part in 8/9 of these games, he is sure to get a work permit.

If he doesn't, then I doubt we'll really be wanting him here. But the expectation is that he will.

I don't think the club has dropped a ball here (i.e. not staying in Belgium). For a young player, much better him playing for a manger and a club that respects him, and that he is happy playing for. Other than Anderlecht, what other team in Belgium could offer a high level of training, quality teammates, facilities, European football? None.

Turkish teams generally are competative in Europe, the league has produced many a player to later succeed in stronger European Leagues. It won't be an easy ride for him, so he will have to improve.

I fully expect Henry to be with us next season, and look forward to the fact.

Frank Wade
45 Posted 13/07/2018 at 12:25:19
Fran #44, At time of application, he must have played 75% of Nigeria's games in past two years. I've been doing a bit of digging in Wikipedia. Henry played 2 games for Nigeria in May/June 2017. If he were to be eligible to play in August 2019, he would have played in 75% of games between August 2017 and 2019.

Since August 2017, Nigeria have played in a whopping 19 internationals. If my Maths are correct, to be eligible for a work permit via the 75% rule next season, he will have to play 57 internationals for Nigeria before August 2019, i.e. 57 out of 76 over 2 years. So, it appears we will be waiting for another 2 years to see Henry in blue.

Victor #43, he wouldn't have got an EU passport playing 2 years in Belgium anyway.

At the time we signed Henry, he had just earned two caps for Nigeria and it was expected he would make an impression with Anderlecht and continue to gather caps, especially with 19 games in past year. Just didn't work our way.

Steve Ferns
46 Posted 13/07/2018 at 12:31:02
Frank have you had a look at the rules about the ranking of the country concerned. We require Nigeria to have a surge in the rankings, and for our Henry to clock up the caps...

Also Frank, you forget that Henry had already played a year in Belgium before we signed him, so he'd done 2 years in Belgium, and another year would have made 3 years, and so allowed him to apply for a passport. As I think I said above, there's a big question mark over this, because there's strict rules on continuous living, and Henry spent an extended period in the UK doing rehab at Finch Farm (and loved it by all accounts) which I think will have scuppered his Belgian passport application.

Mark Taylor
47 Posted 13/07/2018 at 12:32:16
With regard to the EU and Brexit issue, this is a slight red herring, certainly with regard to Onyekuru.

Were we to restrict general migration form the EU (or anywhere else) the parameters would be likely to include a lower limit on income to insure people contribute enough fiscally to cover their share of the government's costs. On that basis, we can safely say that Henry's likely salary would be plenty enough to make a sufficient contribution to the nation's coffers.

But we have rules over and above this which are not really concerned with the main topics of general migration, but specific to a supposed need to prevent the PL from becoming flooded with sub standard foreign players, and thus limiting the opportunities for British players. Hence the current rule about foreign players having to show they would add to the game, evidenced by e.g the number of international caps.

Players from EEA countries cannot by EU law be restricted in this way, so in theory you can currently sign whatever donkey you wish from Anderlecht, provided the players is a citizen of an EEA member and provided you are also complying with the rules on home grown players, which I suppose is a way of trying to circumvent EU law on totally free movement. That may well change after Brexit and because of changes to free movement, but the point is that it doesn't need to change after Brexit since I suggest pretty much every footballer, unless a donkey with only two legs, is likely to more than exceed the necessary salary/fiscal test that is probably going to applied to future economic migrants, of which footballers is one category.

Once we leave the EU we will be free to keep or change these rules as we see fit but they are much more likely to be driven by FA/PL rules than general immigration rules.In other words, I suspect our general rules on economic migrants would allow pretty much any halfway decent footballer to come here from anywhere, but there will be sector specific rules which will prevent that happening in the case of footballers- for better or worse.

John Raftery
48 Posted 13/07/2018 at 12:33:59
Mike (40) He sounds a bit like Lookman. Like most players around that age he needs to develop his game to become the finished article. The majority fail to do so but those who have the hunger to succeed will come through in the end. It will be down to Onyekuru to prove he has what it takes in a highly competitive environment.
Frank Wade
49 Posted 13/07/2018 at 12:50:15
Yes Steve, the percentage brackets are in the link I posted above. Nigeria are currently 48th and would have to surge to 30 or below to qualify for 60% bracket. I don't think he would have been able to get the Belgian passport as you say. It is strange that Belgium would have such different work permit rules to UK.

On the special talent appeal you mention above, it appears that is based on rules like salary and fee paid being in the top 75% of earners/players in Premier League, so I don't think he would qualify that way.

Steavey Buckley
50 Posted 13/07/2018 at 22:46:19
The UK will officially leave the EU on the 19th of March 2019 but there will be a transition period until the end of 2020. How that will effect transfers from the EU, I am not sure. But how Oneykuru can get a visa to play for Everton is another matter, because he is not a regular for Nigeria? He certainly won't do his chances any good by playing in Turkey for Galatasaray, who like other Turkish clubs are getting players on the cheap through loans and free transfers. Kevin Mirallas would be an option for Turkish clubs, he is available.
Tom Dodds
51 Posted 13/07/2018 at 23:58:43
Zzzz,Whatever way you phrase it its just an other 'Gordean (every month/season) knot ' in the Keystone/Kenwright era'd 'Everton now' saga.
Please God,make Usmanov happen.
Ed Prytherch
52 Posted 14/07/2018 at 00:18:52
Mark taylor #47 - good explanation and as I see it.
There were rules about foreign workers well before the EU. I remember a time when for every American musician who performed in the UK there had to a UK musician performing in the States. The musician's union were behind that. The entourage of English bands who traveled on the coat tails of the Beatles allowed some great jazz musicians to appear in the UK and I was happy about that.
Paul Kelly
53 Posted 14/07/2018 at 01:25:43
Spoke to a couple of Nigerians at work, neither of them have represented their country in 75% of their specialised field of work either.

Where all as fluxxomed as each other.

Stephen Davies
54 Posted 14/07/2018 at 01:41:25
Ah Paul #53
But in their Country are they a Prince?
Paul Kelly
55 Posted 14/07/2018 at 04:18:11
Ah, Stephen, good thinking. Will ask on Monday, pretty sure they must be though.
Peter Lee
56 Posted 14/07/2018 at 05:02:59
Frank, obtaining a passport is down to satisfying rules laid down by individual countries. So is obtaining a visa if you are not an EU citizen. The rules are different.

My children can obtain Irish passports simply because their grandparents (only need one) were Irish citizens. On the other hand I can only get a Danish passport through my grandfather if I fulfill residency requirements in Denmark. None of us currently need visas to work in the EU.

If we wished obtain vidas to work outside the EU we would have to satisfy the individual rules of the relevant country. They are all different. People from outside the EU seeking work visas in an EU country need to satisfy the individual requirements of that country. They are all different. Ergo, we don't have to take back control of immigration from outside the EU. We never lost it. Govt could more than halve immigration by stopping this, the majority of immigrants arrive from outside the EU.

Of course I'd then be short of an excellent (Columbian) GP. Selfish of me I know.

Peter Howard
57 Posted 14/07/2018 at 09:32:46

If either of them is a Prince then tell them I've inherited a
large some of cash which I need to get out of the Government's grasp.

If they send me their bank details I'll telegraph the money to them and we'll share it out.

Oh! and there's a bob or two in it for you as well.

Frank Wade
58 Posted 15/07/2018 at 00:28:03
Peter, that's fair enough, every country has rules related to ancestry, like you mention with your Irish and Danish heritage. I was surprised Belgium may have different rules related to passport by residency.

I assume Henry has no such ties to the UK or to Belgium or we would have heard of them by now.

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