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Nigerian winger signs for Benfica

04 February 2015, 12:40Israel Ojoko

Lagos – Nigerian winger Jesse Sekidika has signed a contract with Portuguese side Benfica.

The 18-year-old will feature for Benfica U-19 team which plays in the UEFA Youth Cup among other competitions.

Sekidika was born on July 14th 1996 in Port Harcourt. He left Nigeria at the age of 15 years to Brooke House College & Football Academy in Leicester, England, and graduated as the best graduating Academy Player in July 2014.

In July 2013, he attended a trial at English Premiership League club, Stoke City, and excelled at the trial, which prompted Stoke City’s interest in signing him. Whilst playing for Stoke City at the 2013 Keele Cup, Sekidika was also scouted by two senior Manchester United scouts who expressed interest in assessing him further at their Carrington training ground.

Also read: Benfica, Sevilla strike first

However, due to the stringent requirement of a British work permit and not having a European Passport, Sekidika could not be offered a contract at Stoke City or Manchester United.

In August 2014, he joined the Under-19 team of Portuguese amateur club, A.D. Oeiras, which is a feeder-club to some of Portugal’s Primeira League sides. After about 12 weeks at A.D. Oeiras, Jesse was scouted and identified by Benfica after showcasing his talents for A.D. Oerias U-19s in a match against Benfica U-19s.

He was invited to the camp of the Flying Eagles in January 2013 among eight other foreign based players, but was pegged with school activities. He is however hoping to make a return to the national team.

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