Art and Culture

Will He Scale the Hurdle with Empoli?

todayJuly 9, 2022

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Tyronne Ebuehi

Serie A outfit, Empoli, during the week announced the signing of Nigeria international, Tyronne Ebuehi from Portuguese side Benfica after he penned a three-year contract with the Blues for an undisclosed fee that will keep him at Stadio Carlo Castellani until 2025.

Last season, he represented Venezia in the Italian top flight, featuring in 19 matches, but could not rescue the Venice-based outfit from getting demoted to Serie B as they finished at the base of the log.

“Empoli Football Club announces that it has definitively acquired from Sport Lisboa and Benfica the right to the sports performance of Tyronne Ebuehi; the player has signed a contract until 30 June 2025,” a statement from the club read.

“Tyronne Ebuehi is a Nigerian and Dutch defender born in Haarlem on December 16, 1995. Raised in the youth sectors of DSOV, Hoofddorp, Young Boys, HFC EDO Zaterdag and ADO Den Haag, with the latter club he made his debut in the Eredivisie at the age of 19.

“In 2018 he moved to Benfica who after two seasons turned him on loan to Twente.”

With this move, Ebuehi becomes the only African in Paolo Zanetti’s squad and he would be hoping to compete for a place in the starting XI in the 2022-23 campaign.

On the international scene, the defender made his senior debut for Nigeria in a 3–0 friendly win over Togo on June 1, 2017.

A year later, he made Gernot Rohr’s squad to the 2018 Fifa World Cup. In the 2-0 victory over Iceland, he came on as a substitute. 

He made his Africa Cup of Nations debut against Guinea-Bissau at Cameroon 2021.

“It’s a blessing to play for the team. Any opportunity is a rare privilege, and I am happy to have played for my country,” Ebuehi told GOAL after the game.

“It is very exciting. As a young player, the dream to feature at this level has always been a priority.”

Last season, the Nigeria international, joined Serie A new boys Venezia FC on a season-long loan deal from Benfica with an option to buy permanently, making it the second consecutive loan spell for Ebuehi after his impressive stint with FC Twente but could help save the Venice side from demotion to Serie B.

“The defender, born in Haarlem in the Netherlands and also holding Nigerian citizenship, played for FC Twente penultimate season, scoring one goal and one assist.

“He grew up in ADO Den Haag, a club with which he made his debut in the Eredivisie in the 2014/15 season, and was signed by Benfica with whom he played seven games in the Liga Revelacao U-23 and six games in Liga Portugal 2 in the 2019/20 season.

“During his career, Ebuehi also played 10 matches for Nigeria, including an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match and a World Cup match. Welcome Tyronne!”

Following his failure to get regular playing time at Estadio da Luz, the 26-year-old was loaned to Eredivisie side Twente.

There, he was a regular figure in Ron Jans’ squad – featuring in 33 league games with a goal against Feyenoord to his credit.

Before moving to Italy, the Super Eagles playwright had taken to social media to thank the Pride of the East for the chance to prove his worth “at the highest level”.

“That after two years of injury suffering and many difficult periods in my career I have been given the opportunity by FC Twente to show myself again at the highest level,” Ebuehi wrote on Instagram.

“I will be forever grateful to the club. I would also like to thank my teammates, trainers, medical/technical staff and of course the supporters of the club very much for last season.

“Unfortunately, we have not been able to finish the season the way we started it and will separate our paths here, but I wish the club all the best!”

Ebuehi has only just one appearance for the Super Eagles at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, but it is still a win for him, considering how he got into the squad and what he has been through.

Ebuehi was one of the players with dual-nationalities that made their international bow under former coach Gernot Rohr.

The 26-year-old was born in Holland to a Dutch mother and a Nigerian father, making him eligible to represent the two nations.

His performance in the 2017/2018 season earned him a call-up to Nigeria’s squad for the 2018 World Cup. He made just one appearance, coming on as a second-half substitute against Iceland, but it was enough for him to make an impact as Nigeria won 2-0.

Following the 2018 World Cup, it was clear that Ebuehi had outgrown Ado Den Haag and a move away from the club was imminent.

And it proved to be true as Benfica signed him on a five-year deal. However, Ebuehi’s career with The Eagles ended before it even started after he suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury that ruled him out of the whole 2018/2019 season.

He returned in the 2019/2020 season, but he never played for the first team. Knowing he had to get his career back on track, Ebuehi returned to his birth country to sign for Twente on loan.

Twente offered Ebuehi a chance to put his career back in line, and it was an opportunity he took well. He made 33 league appearances, scoring one goal and one assist for the club.

His performance was so convincing and impressive that Twente were willing to have him for another year, but Benfica were only interested in a permanent sale.

As a result, Ebuehi had to leave the Dutch club. But he secured another loan move to the Italian Serie A with newly-promoted side Venezia. With his permanent move to Empoli, it remains to be seen whether he can re-enact the kind of form that endeared him to Twen

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todayJuly 9, 2022

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