Nigeria's Olaitan hopes spell at Twente will boost career

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport, Nigeria
Michael Olaitan
Michael Olaitan

Nigeria striker Michael Olaitan intends to use a loan spell at Dutch club Twente from Olympiakos in Greece as an opportunity to kick-start his career.

The 22-year-old, who bounced back from a health scare last November, has linked up with the Eredivisie outfit with an option to sign permanently.

Olaitan is hoping to see regular game time during his stint in the Netherlands, allowing him to regain the form that almost earned a place in Nigeria's squad to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"Twente is an opportunity to get everything back on track," Olaitan told BBC Sport.

"This league and club provides my career with the right boost at the right time.

"My overall aim is to get as many games as possible under my belt and make a significant contribution at this club.

"The club has given me the right motivation, I know I have to start on a clean slate and I am ready."

Technical director of Twente Ted Van Leeuwen has expressed his delight over his club's acquisition of the young Nigerian.

"Michael Olaitan is a versatile striker. Fast, strong, technically proficient with both feet and a cool finisher. There was a lot of interest in him, but he chose FC Twente," Leeuwen said.

"I followed Michael for four years because I think he's a great striker. Very versatile, very disciplined and cool. I find it extraordinary that we have managed to bring together this talent to Enschede.

"Although he's still only 22, he has all the necessary experience and his personality fits very well in our dressing room. His career has just needed a little push."

Olaitan won a football reality show in Nigeria and played for local side Mighty Jets before his move to Greek club PAE Veria in 2011.

He enjoyed a remarkable debut season at Olympiakos, playing a total of 16 games and scoring eight goals.

The highly-rated Olaitan was tipped by the local media to make Nigeria's provisional 2014 World Cup squad before his setback in March 2014.