(Image courtesy of allnigeriasoccer.com)
The New England Revolution’s search for a striker progressed on Sunday, Feb. 16 when Marvin Ogunjimi joined the club on trial.
The 26-year-old first gained notoriety while with Racing Genk of Belgium. His 30 goals in 84 appearances earned him his first cap for Belgian national team in 2010 and eventually led to a 2011 transfer to Spanish club Mallorca.
The left-footed striker has struggled since leaving Racing Genk, scoring only one goal in 38 collective appearances with Mallorca, Standard Liege, Beerschot and Oud-Heverlee Leuven. Still contracted by Mallorca, Ogunjimi will train with the Revs until Sunday in hopes of earning a contract and reigniting his career.
To get a better understanding of Ogunjimi, I spoke with Ifeanyi Abanum of allnigeriasoccer.com and Kristof Terreur of Het Laatste Nieuws at De Persgroep.
Thoughts from Ifeanyi Abanum, Editor, allnigeriasoccer.com:
-Marvin Ogunjimi had been regarded as one of the top talents of his generation and was rated in the same category as fellow Belgium international Jelle Vossen. Indeed, both strikers formed a strong partnership at Racing Genk, terrorizing defenses without mercy.
-So good was Marvin Ogunjimi that the National Team selectors mooted the idea of handing him a late call up to the Super Eagles squad ahead of the 2010 World Cup. The 26-year-old later disclosed that he did not have a Nigerian Passport and thus, missed out on the party to South Africa.
-A move to Mallorca in 2011 stalled his career, with the player managing only 7 appearances for the Spanish club.
-Though he has never been to Africa, it is right to call Marvin Ogunjimi a typical Nigerian forward. He can multiple roles in attack, excellent work rate and can hold on to the ball, meaning he can dictate the pace of the game. Also, he has an eye for a pass to his strike partner or teammate and technically very good.
-On the flip-side, Ogunjimi is not a very fast player and right now his spirit is low in the wake of his failed moves to Mallorca, Standard Liege, Beerschot and OH Leuven.
-Injury concerns are behind him as he has been playing on a continuous basis, suited up 18 times (out of a possible 21) for OHL in the 2013-2014 campaign.
-He can also be outspoken if the need arises. He is not afraid voicing his displeasure using the media no matter the consequences.
-In the recently concluded winter transfer market, he was linked with a transfer to Beitar Jerusalem (Israel) and Veria (Greece) but this never materialized.
Thoughts from Kristof Terreur, Sports Journalist, Het Laatste Nieuws at De Persgroep:
-Marvin Ogunjimi is a talented striker who needs lots of confidence. If a coach treats him well, he can become a goal getter.
-He has a good technique, good first touch.
-He scored 5 goals in 7 games for the national team.
-He has had some injuries in the past: damaged cruciate ligaments, thyroid gland. They slowed down his progression.
-He has made some bad career moves last few years, with managers that didn’t have high confidence or teams that didn’t fit him.