Ambrose Efe has been without a club since his short loan spell with Derby County. However, hope was on the horizon last week with news of his return to Scotland with Livingstone boss, Gary Holt, confirming interest in the ex-Hibs, but no move forthcoming so far
Livingston boss Gary Holt has confirmed his interest in former Hibs and Celtic defender Efe Ambrose.
The Nigerian is currently a free agent after leaving Derby County in the summer. He has been training in his homeland to keep his fitness up.
Ambrose previously revealed his desire to return to Europe, expressing his openness to a move back to Scotland.
Hibs had been linked with their former defender. The 31-year-old played more than 100 games for the Easter Road side before departing a year ago after triggering a release clause in his contract.
It allowed him to join Frank Lampard’s Derby in the English Championship but he didn’t play a game.
Livingston were linked with a move for Ambrose last week and manager Gary Holt confirmed the club’s interest.
No move is yet forthcoming, however, as he looks to add depth to his defensive options.
He said: “Regarding that, is it someone I would be interested in? Yeah, probably. But there is a long way from being interested in someone to something then happening.”
Ambrose emerged as a key individual under Neil Lennon last season. By the time he left, he was arguably the club’s most in-form player.
The Lions are believed to be keen on adding the defender to their ranks and are said to have held talks.
According to the Daily Record, Gary Holt wants the 31-year-old to strengthen his team’s hold on their top six spot after the winter break.
In a chat with THISDAY, Efe gives an insight into his time at Derby County and his next port of call.
On why he did not make much impact while he was at Derby County, he said: “that’s football, but the coach knows best. It was, however, a great privilege to be looked at by Derby County. I learnt a lot playing under a coach like Frank Lampard, who is a legend in the game. Wanting to learn more made me accepted to play for the Rams and I really enjoyed myself while I was there, but at time football does not go the way one plans it. However, the experience I amassed during my stay there would help me in my future challenge.
“I had other offers from abroad so when my agent called me and said Derby were interested and they had put an offer to us, with Lampard, I said there is no second choice. That should be the first choice because for me, I’ve known Lampard since he was at Chelsea as a player, and he has been my hero and someone I’ve always enjoyed watching play football. He is a legend so when he told me about Derby and Lampard, I’ve always watched the Championship and known about the passion,” Ambrose said.
Efe is indeed banking on agent to get him a new club him.
“I believe my agent is working hard to get me a new club and very soon things would get in shape, though I cannot say exactly which club at the moment,” he noted.
Asked if he would have stayed at Derby had the club gained promotion to the English Premier League; Efe said his contract with the Rams was just for a short period and would only have stayed if the club further wanted his services.
Ambrose will perhaps best be remembered for his five-year stint at Celtic, where he replaced the former Owls captain Glenn Loovens and was a teammate of Gary Hooper, but the Nigerian spent the best part of two years at Hibernian before engineering his own release.
After a good performance at the junior ranks, former national team coach, Stephen Keshi invited Ambrose Efe to the Super Eagles ahead of 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and the defender did repose the trust ‘Big Boss’ had on him as he stood like a Rock in the defence en route Nigeria’s third AFCON success. Dip in form; not having enough playing time however robbed Efe of his ambition of having a part at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.