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Ezekiel Bassey
On deadline day, Nigerians were blindsided by news that Enyimba winger Ezekiel Bassey the Emma Ntuk Academy product in his native Akwa Ibom State, had signed with Spanish giants Barcelona on an initial six-month loan, with an option for a two-year contract after.
Bassey was spotted by Barcelona while on a tour of Spain with the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) All-Star team last August. The tour was part of a bilateral agreement signed between the NPFL and La Liga last year which includes technical partnerships between the league’s and their member clubs.
A final decision to sign him was made on Thursday, and the deal was agreed and completed within 48 hours and the player flew out on Monday night after securing a special, emergency visa.
Ezekiel Bassey becomes the fourth Nigerian to play for Barcelona, joining a very short list headed by Emmanuel Amunike, Gbenga Okunowo and Babangida. He also becomes only the second Nigerian, after Okunowo in 1995, to join the Catalans direct from the Nigerian domestic league. The 20-year-old will hope to make a bigger impact than Okunowo, who took a full year to break into the first team from the B side, and only managed to make 21 appearances before he was farmed out on loan and eventually traded.
A very talented winger, whose ball game has been likened to Bayern Munich’s Douglas Costa, Bassey combines intelligence with skill and balance. “He is a fantastic player and his running, especially off the ball, is second to none, “Barcelona will not regret getting him.” says the Club Chairman Felix Agwu. 
Written By: SportingKing for sportflames.com

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