Kano Pillars manager Ibrahim Musa would not confirm reports linking the Sai Masu Gida with a move for free agent Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa but did say he would be “the happiest man” should a move reuniting him with the forward materialise.
Ahmed Musa, 28, has been without a club since he left Al Nassr in October and a proposed move to West Brom in January failed to see the light of day.
With his place in the national team under threat and with the Super Eagles set to begin their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign in a few weeks, the former Leicester City forward has apparently decided to remain in the thoughts of Eagles boss Gernot Rohr by rejoining the four-time Nigerian champions on a deal until the end of the season.
Current boss Ibrahim Musa was assistant manager when Ahmed Musa first played for Pillars during the 2009/2010 season with the forward scoring eighteen times to win the Golden Boot as Pillars finished second.
The proposed move was first reported by ACL Sports with the report stating that Musa is expected to join Pillars before the end of the 2020/2021 NPFL mid-season break.
Are Kano Pillars Interested In Ahmed Musa?
Responding to the whispers which have gained momentum in recent days, Ibrahim Musa stressed that nothing is official at this stage but welcomed any such move.
“Officially, I don’t know that [Musa is on the verge of joining Pillars]. But if it happens I’m the happiest man. I know Musa, he was my player in Pillars, he played under me when I was the assistant. So if now he comes back to play in his team he’s welcome, I’m happy,” he told busybuddiesng.com.
When asked if he has devised a tactical plan to accommodate Musa in his starting line up, the Pillars gaffer explained that Musa – should he join – would have to earn a place in the team through his performances in training.
“It [Musa’s place in the team] depends on the programme and the attendance in the team,” Ibrahim Musa told busybuddiesng.com.
“Ahmed Musa is an attacking midfielder, he’s a striker, he can play centrally, he can play from the wing. It depends on when he comes and the attendance he has in training.
“If he joins and doesn’t come to train how would he play? But if he joins us, he comes to training and he copes to our style, he’ll play.
“I know him and what he can do.”
Do Kano Pillars Need Ahmed Musa?
Pillars overcame a difficult start to end the first stanza of the 2020-21 Nigeria Professional Football League season in imperious form with four straight wins to keep pace with Kwara United at the top of the league before the mid-season break.
No team has won more than their 11 games and only Abia Warriors (30), Heartland and Kwara United (25 each) have scored more than Pillars’ 23 goals this season, most of them coming from the boots of ageless midfield legend Rabiu Ali whose seven-goal haul is bettered by only two players.
Strikers Nwagua Nyima and David Ebuka have also contributed to make Sai Musa Gida a lethal attacking force but there can be no debate that the addition of Ahmed Musa completely elevates the team to another dimension and addresses the loss of Junior Lokosa albeit for a short period.
With the 2020-21 season shaping up to be the most keenly contested in years – only six points separate the top six teams at the halfway point and Imama Amapakabo’s resurgent Abia Warriors could yet spring a surprise come season’s end – Musa to Pillars could prove the difference in the title returning to Kano for the first time in seven years.
The move should it materialise would represent a significant achievement for the club and a great coup for the NPFL.
While several prominent players have returned to finish their careers in the domestic top-flight – the incomparable Rashidi Yekini, former national team captain Joseph Yobo and goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye with Kwara United this season being a few examples – none has done so in their prime like the 28-year-old Musa however shortlived the deal may prove to be.
Having Nigeria’s top scorer in World Cup history and captain playing in the NPFL in his prime could have a transformative impact on the domestic league.
It confers a certain legitimacy and profile boost on the NPFL and at a time when the league has finally returned to television, will draw more eyes to the league and do wonders for the NPFL.Tv streaming numbers. It is a greater marketing coup than the League Management Company could have ever hoped for.
Musa’s endorsement of the NPFL his proposed move signifies will go a long way in removing any vestiges of stigma associated with the league and could yet influence other prominent stars including the clubless former international John Ogu to give serious thought to the NPFL as a place to play their football.