Emenike to bounce back after 'sad' loan at Las Palmas

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport
Emmanuel Emenike
Former Nigeria striker will return to Greece to try and force his way back into their first team in the last year of his contract

Emmanuel Emenike says he is determined to bounce back from a loan spell with Spanish club Las Palmas where injury meant he did not play a single minute of football.

The 31-year-old former Nigeria striker joined Las Palmas from Greek giants Olympiakos in January with high hopes but it all ended in a heartbreak.

He is now ready to return to Greece for the final year of his contract having stayed in Spain to recover from the knee injury describing it as the "end of sad chapter in his footballing life."

"It's been a tough time for me injury wise but I hope to bounce back next season," Emenike told BBC Sport.

Despite not being able to try and help his loan club avoid relegation from the Spanish top flight, the striker continues to be positive about his future.

"It has been a disappointing and heartbreaking five months. I arrived with the hope to fight for the shirt," he wrote on Instagram.external-link

"Unfortunately, the injury sustained while in Spain did not give me a chance to demonstrate the fight for the course.

"I want to thank the people of the island. They were always welcoming and looked after me like family. In what has been a tough time; they always smiled and supported.

"I thank you. Their positivity was the comfort of a disastrous time. I Thank you for being my Spanish family."

He was top scorer at the 2013 African Cup of Nations to help Nigeria to a third continental success in South Africa.

Emenike, who started all four of the Super Eagles' matches at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, made the decision to quit international football in October 2015,

His move to Spain meant the much-travelled and vastly-experienced Emenike had joined his seventh professional club in seven years, after stints in Russia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, England and Greece.

Emenike came to limelight at Turkish club Karabukspor where he scored 30 goals in 52 appearances before joining top side Fenerbahce in 2011.

A match-fixing scandal, for which he was later cleared, prompted the Istanbul club to sell him to Russian side Spartak Moscow less than two months later.

He scored 24 goals in 51 appearances for the Moscow side before re-joining Fenerbahce in 2013 and helped propel them to the league and cup double in 2014.

Emenike spent six months on loan at Arabian Gulf League side Al-Ain in the United Arab Emirates, where he scored seven times before spending the second-half of the 2015/16 season at English side West Ham United where he managed four goals in 19 appearances.

He endured a turbulent period at Istanbul and made 93 appearances in all competitions during his time at Fenerbahce scoring 25 goals, before leaving for Greece last summer.

Top Stories