Nigeria defender Oboabona denies Arsenal link and criticising Wenger

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport, Lagos
Godfrey Oboabona

Nigerian club Sunshine Stars say English Premier League side Arsenal have never asked them to take Godfrey Oboabona on trial.

Media speculation last week suggested not only did the Nigeria defender turn down the offer of a trial, but he criticised manager Arsene Wenger, too.external-link

"I never said anything about a highly respected manager like Mr Wenger showing me a lack of respect," he said.

Oboabona also says he was not aware of any invitation for a trial.

"I have had so many text messages, phone calls about it - the rumour that I was invited on trial was not true - I only read about it like everyone else," he explained to the BBC.

"I've always said I will take my time, focus on my development as a player and continue to give my best in every game.

"At the appropriate time, when clubs must have seen me well enough, they will hopefully approach Sunshine Stars in Nigeria.

"My desire is to grow every day, sadly all the things written about Arsenal did not come from me."

The 22-year-old played a big part in Nigeria's victorious 2013 Africa Cup of Nations campaign and was also part of their Confederations Cup squad.

He was an integral part of Nigeria's qualification for the African Nations Championship, the continent's tournament for locally based players only, for the first ever time.

The Sunshine Stars' chairman Mike Idoko also insisted there has been no approach from Arsenal.

"It all began in the media and ends there," he told BBC Sport.

"If there was any substance to the story, we expect Arsenal would approach his club first.

"We haven't had any official communication with Arsenal or any Premier League club about [Godfrey] Oboabona."

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