Nigerian U17 captain Samson Tijani has joined Austrian champions RB Salzburg on a five-year contract, the club confirmed.
Tijani, who led the Golden Eaglets to the 2019 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations in Tanzania and the Fifa U-17 World Cup in Brazil, joins Die Mozartstadter from Lagos-based outfit Collins Edwin Sports Club.
The 18-year-old’s contract is expected to run until May 31, 2025 and he joins a host of African stars in Jesse Marsch’s team, which include Ghana’s Majeed Ashimeru, Cameroon’s Jerome Onguene, Mali duo Sekou Koita and Mohamed Camara, and Zambia duo Patson Daka and Enock Mwepu.
“I am so grateful to sign for Red Bull Salzburg,” Tijani said.
“I hope the fans will support us and be with us in this journey, which will not be easy.”
Tijani will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Borussia Dortmund talisman Erling Haaland as well Liverpool duo Naby Keita and Sadio Mane who developed their game in Salzburg.
The defensive midfielder helped the Golden Eaglets to a fourth-place finish at the U17 Afcon last April where they bowed to Angola in the third-place playoff.
During Nigeria’s U17 World Cup campaign in Brazil, he played every minute of the country’s games and produced a man-of-the-match performance in their first group outing by scoring a brace in their 4-2 victory against Hungary.
Manu Garba’s side were eliminated from the World Cup in the Round of 16 after a 3-1 defeat to the Netherlands.
Tijani is the latest player from the Golden Eaglets to move to Europe with teammate Peter Olawale set to decide on his future when the ban on international flights in Nigeria is lifted ahead of his 18th birthday on July 26.