Nigerian Footballers Abroad

Sam Allardyce showers praise on Austin Jay Jay Okocha

Former Bolton Wanderers manager Sam Allardyce has praised Jay-Jay Okocha, a former Nigerian midfielder, for his outstanding skills during his time with the team.

Allardyce, who managed various teams throughout his career, including Bolton Wanderers, highlighted Okocha as the best player he ever managed.

Okocha joined Bolton Wanderers in 2002 after leaving Paris Saint-Germain, where he played under a free transfer deal.

Allardyce shared his excitement about acquiring Okocha, emphasising the rarity of such a talented player being available for free.

Although Okocha received a hefty wage at Bolton, Allardyce believed he was worth every penny. He mentioned Okocha’s impact both on and off the pitch, noting his leadership qualities and his ability to entertain the crowd with his exceptional football skills.

While Okocha was known for his dazzling tricks and skills, Allardyce stressed that there was more to his game than just entertainment. He highlighted Okocha’s intelligence on the field and his effectiveness in maintaining possession and creating opportunities for the team.

Speaking about his coup in signing Okocha on a video posted on TikTok, Allardyce said: “We signed him after the World Cup had finished from Paris St Germain.”

“We got him on a free transfer. Imagine that now, Jay Jay Okocha on a free transfer,”

“It did have something to do with the rather large wage we paid. It was what he gave the dressing room as well as the entertainment value he gave on the pitch,”

“He became the captain, he could speak four languages, showed everybody how to play the game of football and some of the tricks, it wasn’t just the tricks but the fact that the tricks paid off. He didn’t lose the ball, he came to the other end with it,” the former England manager said.

During his time at Bolton, Okocha became a fan favorite, with supporters adoring his performances and even purchasing shirts with the slogan “Jay Jay so good they named him twice” in tribute to his excellence.

Allardyce’s praise for Okocha reflects the high regard in which he holds the Nigerian midfielder, considering him the best player he ever worked with during his extensive coaching career.

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