Nigerian striker Umar Sadiq has revealed that he planned on staying at Italian side AS Roma this season before the lure of Steven Gerrard steered him all the way to Glasgow to play for the Scottish side ahead of the new season, AOIFootball.com reports.
The 21-year-old is highly rated by the Italian giants and after a successful spell in Holland last season, on loan at NAC Breda, scoring five in 12, Sadiq was going to attempt to add to his six senior appearances and two goals for his parent club.
After a pep talk from the new Rangers boss the Nigerian changed his mind and committed to the Light Blues for the upcoming season, saying he couldn’t turn down the Liverpool legend’s offer.
Speaking exclusively to RangersTV Sadiq said: “It is very good to be here, it has been good so far and I can’t wait to start. I truly am excited to be joining Rangers, it is a historical club and I can’t wait to play here.
“I found out Rangers were interested in me about a month ago when I was on holiday in Nigeria. I received a phone call from my agent and he told me about Rangers and I said let’s see what happens.
“To be honest the plan was to stay at Roma this season but when Steven Gerrard calls you can’t say no. He called me about two weeks ago and from there I started changing my mind. Even if the plan was to stay at Roma I couldn’t turn him down.
“He told me about the team; even though I already knew about Rangers and that they are the most successful team in the world. He told me about the players and said everybody would be at my side if I came here to help me and he would also help me to go forward in my career,” Sadiq noted
When asked how he felt on been compared to Arsenal legend Kanu Nwankwo, the former dream team player admitted it was an honour and hopes he can replicate the kind of Magic Kanu brings to the game.
He smiled: “I don’t like to say anything about myself but I am a hardworking player who always wants to help the team. I am just myself, even though in Nigeria I am compared to the legend Kanu and Emmanuel Adebayor. It is an honour when someone talks about Adebayor or Kanu next to me.
“I love playing football, for me, it is more than a game. I hope I can score goals here and to help the team as well. In football, you never know what is going to happen but hard work pays and with the work I am going to do here I think I will be successful,” Sadiq concluded.
At six foot three the centre-forward, who broke into Roma’s first team at just 18, is a lofty addition to Gerrard’s new look Rangers side and has promised fans he will graft for his place in the side.