Ibrahim Sunusi: Nigerian striker joins Victor Wanyama at Montreal Impact

Montreal Impact have announced the acquisition of Nigeria youth international Ibrahim Sunusi from 36 Lion FC.

The 18-year-old penned a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee with the Major League Soccer outfit – which will keep him at Saputo Stadium until 2023, with an optional year in 2024.

Also, the contract will be made formal upon reception of his international transfer certificate and medical examination.

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"The club is very happy to have completed the transfer of this young player, who is already part of his country’s U23 squad despite his young age," sporting director Olivier Renard told the club website.

“It’s a great addition to the squad, especially considering several European clubs were very interested in him as well. Sunusi Ibrahim is a fast and powerful striker who can also play on the wings."

Sunusi - who was linked with a move to English Championship Watford - shot into the limelight with Nigeria Professional Football League side Nasarawa United. There, he finished as the joint-top scorer of the abridged Nigerian top-flight season having scored 10 times in 22 league outings in the 2018-19 campaign.

On the international scene, the teenager featured for Nigeria in their quest to qualify for the U23 Africa Cup of Nations, scoring his only goal against Zambia.

With this move, he becomes the fourth African in Thierry Henry’s squad after Kenya international Victor Wanyama, Uganda’s Mustafa Kizza and Senegal’s Clement Diop.

Reacting to this development, grassroots exponent Samuel Olatunji-Okuku claims the move is a testimony that several talents abound in Nigeria, while appealing to the league organisers to keep doing more towards making the league beautiful.

“Sunusi joining MLS ide Montreal Impact is a testimony that there are plenty of talents in our domestic league against what so many people feel,” the Tripple 44 boss told Goal.

“I congratulate the young man on his move and I strongly believe that he will grab this opportunity with both hands. This will also serve as a big motivation for many players in Nigeria that they can be snapped up by top clubs outside the country if they keep working hard.

“For the League Management Company, my appeal to them is to keep doing more to upgrade the standard of the league. I have a feeling that one day that clubs like Manchester United, Barcelona and Chelsea will comb the NPFL to sign many more talents.”