Umar Sadiq has signed for Glasgow Rangers on a season-long loan deal from AS Roma, according to the Scottish club, and has revealed that the chance to work with Steven Gerrard was influential in his decision.
The Nigeria U-23 striker has struggled to kick-start his club career after announcing his arrival on the big stage with his four-goal return at the 2016 Olympics.
Since signing for Roma permanently in 2016, he hasn’t made a league appearance for the club, and has instead been loaned out to Bologna, Torino and NAC Breda.
Speaking to Rangers TV, Sadiq expressed delight at the latest chapter in his career.
“It is very good to be here, it has been good so far and I can’t wait to start,” the 21-year-old began. “I truly am excited to be joining Rangers, it is a historic club and I can’t wait to play here.
“I found out Rangers were interested in me about a month ago when I was on holiday in Nigeria. I got a phone call from my agent and he told me about Rangers and I said let’s see what happens,” the forward disclosed.
After failing to force his way into Eusebio Di Francesco’s side at Roma, the allure of working with Gerrard played a big part in convincing Sadiq to plump for the Gers.
“To be honest, the plan was to stay at Roma this season, but when Steven Gerrard calls you can’t say no,” the striker added.
“He told me about the players and said everybody would be at my side if I came here to help me and he would also help me to go forward in my career.”
Sadiq becomes the second Nigerian in recent years to play for one of the two traditional Glasgow giants after Efe Ambrose’s five-year spell at Celtic.
Sone Aluko also featured for Rangers during the 2011-12 season, after signing from Aberdeen.