Peter Etebo arrived in the Potteries with very little fanfare, but the athletic midfielder gradually won over the fans with his all-action performances. His 2019 displays were a rare bright spot in an underwhelming season for the Staffordshire club, who finished in 16th position with a goal difference of -7. Etebo’s future is uncertain, and a number of impressive displays at the African Cup of Nations this summer have certainly helped put him in the shop window once again.
— Tayo Salaam (@CTV_TayoS) March 2, 2019
Stoke paid £6.35 million for his services twelve months ago, but the midfielder rarely completed 90 minutes during his first few months at the club. He took a while to get up to speed with the relentless pace of the EFL Championship, but over time, he slowly began to control games and soon became a regular alongside Joe Allen in the centre of the park.
The 23-year old is clearly destined for better things, and Stoke fans are desperately hoping they can keep hold of the Super Eagle for at least one more season. Under Nathan Jones, the club are predicted to finish in the top half and potentially push for a play-off position with Etebo tipped to play a key role.
He has refused to rule out a move to the Premier League and gave mixed messages during a recent interview with a Nigerian newspaper. The dynamic midfielder admitted that it would be a dream to play in the top flight, and there a number of Premier League clubs who could use a player of his ability.
EPL clubs are always on the lookout for promising young players who are operating at the level below, and although Etebo would command a sizeable fee, he could be worth taking a gamble on. He can operate as a box-to-box midfielder, yet he is also able to take on greater defensive responsibilities. He isn’t renowned for his goalscoring abilities, although he did find the net twice in 2019. His eye for a pass is exquisite, and he is reassuringly calm under pressure.
Whether he remains in the second tier or manages to secure a move to the Premier League, Etebo is unlikely to hit the ground running in August. He has featured prominently at the African Cup of Nations this summer and has helped the Super Eagles reach the quarter-finals of the competition, which have regularly featured in the football tips from Betfair this summer, with James Eastham offering daily analysis and coverage of this fascinating tournament.
Odion Ighalo has scored three goals from his four shots on target at #AFCON2019, Peter Etebo (8) has made the most key passes of any Nigerian player at #AFCON2019, and all five of their goals have been assisted by different players.
Bit of food for thought. ??⚽️ pic.twitter.com/8SaypUKtod
— Joe Crann (@YesWeCrann) July 10, 2019
The dynamic midfielder is likely to be given extra time to recover once he returns to the UK, although clubs will be fully aware that they have until August 8th to get any deals over the line. Aston Villa are just one of a handful of clubs believed to be monitoring the situation.
Premier League managers will be looking to bolster their squads over the coming weeks, with a number of clubs looking to the Championship for their new recruits. Peter Etebo is still developing and learning his trade, and at just 23-years old, there is undoubtedly more potential to unlock. He admitted that you have to be prepared for every game in the second tier, but he appears to have improved the physical side of his game since arriving from Portugal. He’s been in the UK for just over twelve months, but his game has already significantly improved, and a move to the top flight surely beckons for this talented midfielder.