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Okereke: Nigeria striker signs for newly-promoted US Cremonese from Club Brugge

10:30 GMT+3 29/07/2022
David Okereke Venezia
The former Venezia forward secured the deal to stay in the Italian top-flight after the positive season he had despite his team’s relegation

Nigerian striker David Okereke will remain in Serie A after joining newly-promoted side US Cremonese on a permanent deal from Belgium’s Club Brugge.

Okereke spent last season in the Italian top-flight with Venezia but the club could not retain their Serie A status, getting relegated after finishing bottom of the table.

However, Okereke was among the few players who emerged from the season with some credit after finishing as the club’s top scorer with seven goals, earning him a move to the Lombardy-based club, who earned promotion for the first time since the mid-90s.

“US Cremonese announces that it has acquired the right to David Okereke's sports performances from Club Brugge,” the Italian club announced on its website after Club Brugge, reported to have pocketed €10m from the deal, had confirmed his departure.

The 24-year-old Lagos-born striker has spent most of his career in Italy where he played first for Lavagnese in Serie D for one season before joining then Serie B team Spezia where he scored 11 goals in 59 games across four seasons.

A loan move to Losenza in Serie C then followed after which he joined Club Brugge, spending three years, including last season, where he was loaned to Venezia.

With the Belgian club, he won two Jupiler Pro League titles (2019-20, 2020-21) as well as the 2021 Belgian Super Cup, making 71 appearances (11 in the Uefa Champions League) while scoring 15 goals.

The former Nigeria U23 player is yet to earn a cap for the Super Eagles and will be hoping for a positive season in front of goal to force his way into coach Jose Peseiro’s future plans.

Cremonese finished second in Serie B to earn automatic promotion but will be under new coach Massimiliano Alvini for their return to the top-flight after Fabio Pecchia resigned despite getting them promoted.

Okereke is the 12th player signed by the Serie A new boys as they seek to avoid heading straight back into the second-tier.

Cremonese have spent many seasons in the lower divisions of Italian football, their last promotion into Serie A was in 1993, while their last season in the top-flight league was 1995-96.