Ejuke refuses to leave volatile Russia, to stick with CSKA

Despite UEFA banning UEFA from participating in European competitions, Chidera Ejuke will not leave Russia this summer

Rostov-on-Don, Russia - DECEMBER 17, 2020: Roman Eremenko of FC Rostov battle for the ball with Chidera Ejuke of PFC CSKA Moscow during the Russian Premier League. FC Rostov v PFC CSKA Moscow

Nigeria and CSKA Moscow winger, Chidera Ejuke, will not agitate for a transfer away from Russia despite the critical financial constraints facing the country in the aftermath of its conflict with neighbours, Ukraine, ZonalSports exclusively reports. 

The future of the Kaduna-born player has been shrouded in uncertainty since March, despite his reputation as the third best dribbler in the world. With investors, brands and UEFA themselves distancing themselves from the Russian Premier League on the back of its militaristic stance with Ukraine, many foreign players have found compelling reasons to depart the country. 

Europe's football governing body also aided smooth transition to other top leagues in the world by opening a special March-April transfer window that allowed players from either Russia or Ukraine to move abroad temporarily without cost or repercussions. 

Despite this backdoor access to a new lease of life, Ejuke was one of the overseas players who stayed faithful to his team. His decision was not without consequence, though, as then Super Eagles manager, Augustine Eguavoen, refrained from calling him up for national commitment citing the crisis in Russia as reason, 

"We know the qualities of Ejuke and we count on him,” Eguavoen said.

In the current situation, I decided not to include him in the list of 25 players in the main squad due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine." 

Ejuke's stance also came unexpected as the player had struggled for gametime in CSKA since representing Nigeria at AFCON 2022. 

All of these factors were further exacerbated by UEFA's ban on Russian clubs from participating European competitions, which means no club from the Eurasian nation will feature in the Champions League, Europa League Or Conference League next season, thereby confining the very talented forward to merely football within the country's border. 

Despite these painting a grim picture on the future of Russian football, ZonalSports can exclusively report that Ejuke has pledged his loyalty to CSKA and will not try to force a move out of the capital. The Nigerian will only leave Moscow this summer if an offer meets the valuation of his club, but very few clubs will be willing to expunge a fee in the excess of 15 million euros for a player in the unsettled region. 

Despite finishing the season strongly with 5 goals, 4 assists and as Russia's best dribbler, Ejuke fails to rank as one of Nigeria's best players in 2022.

He was however rewarded by fans as CSKA Moscow's third best player of the season, behind Mario Fernández and Igor Akinfeev