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Akinbiyi Returns To England

sporting lifeAde Akinbiyi is the latest player from UK leagues to struggle in Major League Soccer. Released by Houston Dynamo after 14 appearances and no goals, he returns to English football with League Two club Notts County.

The Magpies have hit the headlines in England due to their proposed takeover by rich Middle Eastern businessmen and the installation of Sven-Goran Eriksson as Director of football, so the arrival of Akinbiyi is not likely to make waves.

The high-profile arrival (and subsequent instant departure) of Sol Campbell was seen as the ultimate representation of the club’s lofty ambitions, but the purchase of Akinbiyi is a coup in itself and will certainly represent better value for money.

Akinbiyi’s failure at the Robertson Stadium is something of a mystery. More was expected of a player who made just two starts in his time with a club, producing a total of 261 minutes on-pitch.

Akinbiyi’s transfer fees have totalled nearly £16m and was last season a fringe player in a squad that gained promotion to the Premier League. In between his two spells at Burnley he played for Sheffield United in the top flight.

Despite his varied success with English clubs he is known as an expensive mistake in the English media, having failed to make an impression after a big-money move to Leicester City in 2000. Dynamos boss Dominic Kinnear saw enough to pick him up in April, suggesting a regular first team role was on the cards.

Instead the Nigerian international was kept on the bench by Brian Ching and Kei Kamara and was forced to join the Notts County revolution when room was made for designated player Luis Angel Landin.

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  1. Rex

    September 29, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Everyone really wanted him to succeed here in Houston, but it just never happened. He seemly a little sluggish. Don’t know if it was the age, maybe carrying a little weight, or maybe the heat.

    After seeing an interview after his first workout in April where he stated that the heat was tough (~80 and overcast), we knew he probably wasn’t going to make it when the summer heat and humidity came around.

    • park bolivar

      September 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm

      Strange about that, I mean, he is from Nigeria, which has a climate that ought to compare decently to Houston. Oh well, I’m happy to see him and Kamara gone (neither were up to snuff), but I really hope like all hell Landin turns out to be worthwhile.

      • park bolivar

        September 29, 2009 at 2:14 pm

        Nevermind, he’s ethnically Nigerian, and it says so on his passport, but he’s an Englishman, through and through.

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