When Stoke City completed their first signing under Gary Rowett not many batted an eyelid. The Potters paid a fee in the region of £6.35 million for the Nigerian international Oghenekaro Etebo. Signed from Portuguese outfit Feirense, after a loan spell at Las Palmas, on a five-year deal, it was something of an under-the-radar addition.
Bringing in Etebo was not seen by many as an overly impressive first signing by Rowett. Indeed, fans at his former club Derby County did not. The Rams fans were left severely disappointed in their former boss after his decision to leave for Stoke in the summer. So when Etebo scored an own goal against Croatia in the opening game of Nigeria’s World Cup campaign, Derby fans revelled in Rowett’s new future flop.
However, two games down the line and it looks like Stoke have an absolute gem on their hands. After bossing the Iceland midfield in the 2-0 triumph in Nigeria’s second game the Super Eagles came close to knocking Argentina out last night. The star of the show, Etebo.
Etebo has put in performances that have Stoke fans very excited about his season in the Championship. Some are comparing his unknown status, bargain fee and industrious play to that of Leicester City and Chelsea hero N’Golo Kante.
The 22-year-old World Cup star was a Rowett signing at Stoke and arrived just over a fortnight after the manager had left Pride Park for the Britannia.
Derby will, therefore, feel that Rowett’s departure, which was hard enough to take, has deprived them of an absolute star in the making.