Nigeria’s Henry Onyekuru has admitted that signing for Everton was something of a risk but insisted he has no regrets about the move as he looks for a move away from his current club AS Monaco in France.
The 23-year-old joined the English Premier League side in 2017, but failed to make a competitive appearance for the club.
He arrived at Everton from Belgian club KAS Eupen on the back of a 22-goal season, but was immediately sent on loan to Anderlecht.
That was followed by another loan this time to Turkish side Galatasaray before sealing a permanent move to French club AS Monaco in 2019.
“The first dream is to play in the Premier League, it may not have worked out at Everton but I have no regrets about it,” Onyekuru told BBC Africa Sport.
“When I received offers from top clubs in England I knew back then that I needed a work permit to play.
“That it didn’t happen then has nothing to do with my talent but red tape that’s beyond my control.”
Onyekuru revealed he was keen on a move to his boyhood club Arsenal, but aware he faced a familiar huddle – work permit issues – he opted to fulfil his Champions League ambition instead at Anderlecht through Everton.
“I really wanted to go to Arsenal because I spoke to some people there as I was very young then,” he explained.
“It was obvious that I was not going to play without a UK work permit. So I went to Everton and played in the Champions League through a loan move to Anderlecht.
“It was important for me to get more playing time and experience that I had hoped would help boost my chances of earning the permit.
“I can’t say I regretted this because I got to play against Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich in the Uefa Champions League, this doesn’t happen to everyone.”
The winger’s form at Anderlecht led to a call up to the Nigeria team in 2017 by coach Gernot Rohr and he looked set to be part of the Super Eagles team at the 2018 World Cup.