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Why I left China - Aaron Samuel

01:52 GMT+3 14/03/2018
Aaron Samuel Olanare of CSKA Moscow
The forward made the decision to leave European football for a developing league in Asia in 2014, but has since returned…
Aaron Samuel believes that a stay in the Chinese Super League would mean his chances of getting invites to the Nigeria national team get slimmer, amid other concerns.

In the summer of 2014, Samuel left Norwegian outfit Sarpsborg for Chinese outfit Guangzhou R&F, but returned to Europe after securing a loan deal with CSKA Moscow in February 2016.

After the completion of the temporary spell, the 23-year-old opted against returning to his parent club, thus, making the deal permanent.

Now with Amkar Perm, on loan from CSKA, the forward has opened the lid on why he returned to European football despite the lure of the cash-rich CSL.

“It was a step in career development,” Samuel told club website.

“I decided to go back to Europe, because the Chinese League is not so well watched and it less often takes players into national teams. I wanted to play in Europe and be in the public eye. That was the key reason why I did not want to stay there.”

“If we talk in general about the league, then there are not so many differences with Denmark or Russia. Now the CSL is developing - many players and qualified coaches from Europe are invited.

“If we talk about local football players, then, perhaps because of the characteristics of their growth, they are very fast. But in terms of work with the ball and technology, they are inferior to Europeans.”

Since his winter loan move to Amkar, Samuel has played in two Russian Premier League games and he is yet to open his goal account.

He features alongside Brian Idowu and Fegor Ogude, with the former the only one out of the trio extended an invite for Nigeria’s pre-World Cup friendlies against Poland and Serbia.

Asked about who he feels would make the final cut to the summer showpiece in Russia - with competition for places in Gernot Rohr’s setup getting intense, the striker who has missed out on the Super Eagles’ last three games said: “I can not answer this question.

“We are all good players, and everyone is equally worthy of getting there.

“Yes, I’m in touch [with the coaching staff of the national team]. ahead of the several friendly games.

"The team has a lot of good players around the world and many of them play in the top leagues. The coaching staff looks after everyone, you just need to show the maximum. Let's see how everything goes.”