Goalkeeping great Peter Rufai has told Ahmed Musa he made the wrong move by quitting the Premier League to strut his stuff in the footballing backwaters of Saudi Arabia.
Nigeria attacker Musa was tipped to move from modest Premier League side Leicester City to a bigger outfit after his head-turning showing at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
But, surprisingly, the 25-year-old, who achieved a cult hero status in the transcontinental nation after impressing CSKA Moscow fans when he donned the Horses’ colours from 2012 to 2016, scoring 42 goals in 125 appearances, signed for Saudi Premier League outfit Al-Nassr recently.
The four-year deal is reportedly worth an initial £14.8m, which could rise to £25m.
Musa struggled for regular playing time despite arriving at King Power Stadium on £16m club record fee from CSKA Moscow in 2016, and many expected him to change clubs after he arrived in England after his season-long loan at CSKA where he scored six goals in 10 appearances.
The Super Eagles star has got loads of stick for moving to the a less fancied team from some of his fans, and Tunisia ’94 Africa Cup of Nations winner Rufai is one of them.
The former Deportivo La Coruna keeper, who represented Nigeria at the USA ’94 and France ’98 World Cups, insists Musa, after his impressive performance at Russia 2018, deserves a better club.
“With his performance at the World Cup, he should have made it clear to his agent that he would only leave Leicester for a top Premier League club,” the ex-keeper-turned coach told our correspondent in Lagos on Wednesday.
“It was a wrong move (by joining a Saudi side) and I’m not happy he decided to quit the Premier League for a club in Saudi Arabia when he is still good enough to play for a top European club.”
The former Stationery Stores custodian, who plied his trade in Benin Republic, Belgium, Holland and Portugal before hanging up his gloves in 2000, insists the Premier League is the best place Nigerian players could develop and become stars.
“The Premier League is full of bullets, and as a player, you receive bullets everyday because it is a tough league,” he said.
Meanwhile, South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner Musa has been scheduled to hit Riyadh on Friday to begin life in the Saudi Premier League.