Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe was set to return to the League of Ireland but not for who you think.
The English striker spent the 2019 season with Derry City on loan. It was originally a short-term loan from February to June. His loan was later extended to the end of the season. This was due to an automatic one-year contract extension was activated by his parent club Colchester United.
Junior would be a hit for the Candystripes that season. Finishing up with 16 goals in all competitions with 14 of those goals coming in the league. He would even finish up as that seasons Premier Division top scorer.
After his loan spell he returned to Colchester. Almost a year after signing for Derry on loan Junior was on the move again. Signing a permanent one-year deal with Israeli Premier Division side Hapoel Hedera.
He would only make four appearances for Hapoel Hedera without scoring a single goal. However, he did impress with his general performances.
Like most other leagues the Israeli Premier Division was paused in early March due to Covid-19.
Hapoel Hedera returned to friendly action in late June and league action in early July.
However Junior never returned to his new side. After a short spell he now finds himself without a club.
Something that hasn’t gone unnoticed in the League of Ireland. While many would have expected him to return to Derry. It was Sligo Rovers who came close to signing the player ahead of the return to league action on the 31st of June.
A source has told us that Junior was expected to fly into Belfast earlier this week. He was expected to play in one or two friendly games ahead of signing on the dotted line for the Bit o Red.
Unfortunately for Sligo the deal now seems off the table. As the same source has told us it’s down to “visa issues” blocking the move. It’s believed by the time they get the issue sorted, the player quarantines for two weeks and gets to match fitness the season will be coming to an end.
The club could go back in for the player if he is still free for the 2021 season. Of course, that could all depend on their Premier Division status. Also, if he is picked up by another club or not.
Sligo really could have done with him this season. Before lockdown they have lost an all four of their opening games and have only scored two goals. With only one of those goals coming from open play.
Sligo currently sit rock bottom of the table with no points.
They really seem to be missing their top scorer from last season Romeo Parkes who they are without this season. They haven’t signed anyone to fill that Parkes shaped hole up top.
Junior certainly would have done that with his previous pedigree in the league. It would be great to see him back in the league for a longer spell.
Sligo will now need the likes of Ronan Coughlan, Ryan De Vries and Ronan Murry to start producing goals. Especially if they want to avoid the drop to First Division football next season.