Super Eagles winger, Moses Simon, was on Wednesday voted FC Nantes Player of the Season for the 2019/2020 campaign after scooping 40 per cent of the total vote cast by the fans. With this new feat, the French club may be encouraged to take the option that allows them to sign the player permanently for €5 million in the Summer
Super Eagles winger, Moses Simon, has been voted FC Nantes player of the season for the 2019/2020 campaign after the striker scooped 40 per cent of the total vote cast by the fans to name the canaridelasaison for the year 2020, the club has revealed on their social media page.
Simon has enjoyed his best season with Nantes since moving to Europe, finishing as the club’s top scorer with nine goals, he recorded eight assists which is the highest by any player and also bagged one hattrick to his name.
Simon only arrived at the club last summer, on loan from Spanish Premiere Liga side UD Levante and the former Gent man has proven to be an instant hit at the club, which has encouraged Nantes to be interested in taking up the option that allows them to sign the player permanently for €5 million in the Summer.
Simon says he’s delighted to win his first player of the year award since moving to Europe.
The 24-year-old who joined FC Nantes from Levante made 30 appearances for the French side in the just-concluded campaign, scoring nine goals and registered eight assists.
“It can only be God, I think it a wish season for me, my first season in the French League Une, I became the Player of the Season in FC Nantes a traditional club, it could be recalled that Samson Siasia played in the same club and the arrival of my newborn baby it’s a double blessing for me this Season, I’m so excited it gives me a sense of recognition in my career,” he said.
Simon went on to dedicate the award to his wife Ibukun Sarah Simon.
“I think one of the best Seasons for me, I could still remember vividly I had this kind of season with Genk in Belgium where I played in the Champions league that first season, it was awesome to know that I was voted the best player of FC Nantes this season. I give Glory to God and I dedicate this moment to my beloved wife who stood by me throughout the season. It’s not easy to manage the family for me, at the end of the day the arrival of my newborn baby a double blessing for me,” he said.
The former Trencin forward concluded that he had not made decisions over where he would be playing his football next season.
“I look forward for a better season if I will remain with FC Nantes in France or return back to Spain, the future lies in the hands of God and as well my manager,” he stated.
Life for Simon in Spain was far from rosy as he failed to establish himself in Levante’s starting 11 last season. He then decided to take his trade to French Ligue 1 side, Nantes, and the move has proved to be a success story.
The 24-year-old, who was named the club’s best player in October last year also saw off competition from Imran Louza, Nicolas Pallois and Kader Bamba to secure his second award in March.
Simon has been impressive since joining FC Nante on loan from Spanish side, Levante. In October last year, he scored four goals including a hat-trick against FC Paris in the French League Cup and it therefore came as no surprise when he was voted the Player of the Month.
Simon revealed he was thoroughly enjoying a new lease of life in France.
“I am more relaxed and settled at Nantes, no pressure. I am also playing to my full potentials because here I am a very offensive winger,” he explained.
“At Levante, I had to fall back to help out in the defence. Now, I am a winger in a 4-3-3 formation as against the 3-5-2 we played in Spain. And so the goals and assists are coming now.”
Simon is however optimistic his current scoring form for FC Nantes would continue with the Super Eagles.
“It’s been an amazing season for me so far here in France; the team is doing well and I hope to also take the same form to the national team, especially with the AFCON qualifiers fast approaching,” Simon said then.
The 24-year-old stated that he hoped to mark the landmark appearance with yet another international goal but posited that the team’s overall success remained the goal for him and not personal glory.
Simon moved to Levante UD for about five million Euros, which is a figure far from the 20 million Euros a top official had predicted KAA Gent would eventually sell him.
Gent sports director Michel Louwagie proudly predicted that his club would break transfer records when they eventually sell the Nigerian winger after they bought him from Slovak club AS Trencin for 650,000 Euros in January 2015.
“The transfer record in Belgium will have to be shattered when we sell Moses. We will be talking of about 20 million Euros,” Louwagie predicted. The prediction was prompted by the fact that Moses was an instant sensation in Belgium.
But the player will go on to suffer injuries and lack of consistency for such huge hope not to be fulfilled in the three and a half seasons he was there.
Altogether, he scored 21 goals and provided 18 assists in 136 appearances for ‘The Buffaloes’. He was handed a five-year deal by Levante to finally live up to his potentials in Spain.
He won the Belgian league with Gent in his first season after his transfer from Slovak club AS Trencin.
KAA Gent paid glowing tributes to Simon after the player secured a move to Spanish club, Levante. “He leaves the club with his head up and will forever belong to the select group of players who won the first league title in the history for our club and then became part of an historic Champions League campaign stamped in the collective Belgian football memory. The following season, he was also a member of the group of players that beat Tottenham at Wembley in the Europa League,” the club said in its official website then.
“Immediately after his transfer, he was the only player who spoke openly about obtaining the title “with the help of God”. It turned out to be prophetic words.
Simon had his first call-up to the Nigeria national team by Coach Daniel Amokachi in March 2015 and made his debut on the 25th of the same month in an international friendly against Uganda, when he replaced Anthony Ujah.
The 24-year-old has now made 33 appearances for the Super Eagles and has scored five goals.