ISL: Bartholomew Ogbeche was close to joining FC Goa
As a part of our 'The Bridge Leaks' series, we reveal the details of how Hyderabad forward Bartholomew Ogbeche almost signed for FC Goa over the summer.
Bartholomew Ogbeche was one of the most sought-after players during the summer transfer window ahead of ISL 2022/23. A source close to the development confirmed that he was in close talks with FC Goa. The club had also made a hefty offer for him but Hyderabad FC offered him more at the last moment and extended his contract. Additionally, East Bengal FC enquired about his availability as well.
Due to such excellent form last season, many clubs abroad were also interested to secure his service. Amongst the ISL clubs, it was the Gaurs and the Red and Gold Brigade who showed interest. In the end, he pledged his allegiance to the Hyderabad FC fans and signed an extension with the club.
The Nigerian has a rich pedigree. Before coming to India he played for the topmost clubs in Europe like Paris Saint Germain, FC Metz, Alaves, Real Valladolid, and Middlesborough. He remains the youngest goalscorer in PSG's history.
His most successful stint in Europe was in Eredivisie for Willem and SC Cambuur Leeuwarden. In his 94 appearances for both these clubs, he scored 36 goals. He was also an important member of the Nigerian National team in the 2002 World Cup won by Brazil.
Ogbeche is one of the most successful strikers in the Hero Indian Super league. He came to India in the 2018-19 season when he signed for Northeast United FC. He played 19 matches for them scoring 12 goals. Next season he was roped in by Kerala Blasters FC. He continued his excellent form for them also. He played 16 matches for them scoring 15 goals.
Next, he moved on to Mumbai City FC. But his stint didn't go well at MCFC and as a result, he was released. Hyderabad FC pounced upon this opportunity and roped in him. His excellent form continued at Hyderabad FC, where he won the golden boot.
He is again proving his worth for Hyderabad FC having already scored two goals from six matches in the 2022-23 season. Ogbeche's contract with Hyderabad will end on May 31, 2023. Now it will be interesting to see the fight between the Indian clubs to secure his services during the next summer window.