Ogbene set for Brentford switch
With the January transfer window soon set to shut, Limerick FC fans hope of holding on to star asset Chiedozie Ogbene ahead of the 2018 SSE Airtricity League season had begun to increase, however the twenty-one-year-old's future now does indeed seem to be away from the Market Fields with Brentford agreeing a fee for the midfielder. According to Limerick Leader reporter Andrew Cunneen, the London club have agreed a fee with Limerick and Ogbene is currently over with the "Bees" to complete a medical.
If the news of Ogbene's impending switch wasn't enough for Limerick's loyal followers, Cunneen also revealed some worrying updates on the futures of Barry Cotter and Henry Cameron.
Having being forced into an unwanted change of manager just weeks out from the new domestic season when Neil McDonald departed for the assistant managers job at Scunthorpe, Limerick's hierarchy have found themselves on the back foot throughout the League of Ireland off-season and despite some impressive rapid signings by new boss Tommy Barrett in the past week or so the club has continued to come under fire from frustrated supporters with many drawing similarities between this pre-season and the lead up to the 2015 season under Martin Russell, which ultimately ended in relegation for the "Super Blues".
Should a deal for Chiedozie Ogbene be completed before Wednesday nights English transfer deadline, Limerick FC will face a real challenge to replace the wizard winger even if the club decide to use some of the transfer fee recouped by the former Cork players sale.
Only arriving at the Markets Field in January of last year, Ogbene's impact at Limerick was instant as the pacey winger bedded in quickly to an attacking unit led by Brazilian striker Rodrigo Tosi. An opening day 5-1 triumph at home to Sligo Rovers seemed to signal the start of a big season for Martin Russell's charges but just weeks later the former UCD manager was dismissed despite sitting fifth in the Premier Division. With the eventual appointment of McDonald drawing out for longer than expected, Limerick soon found themselves in a relegation dog-fight and Ogbene's eight goals in thirty-eight appearances played a major role in keeping the club in the top-flight for 2018.
As a result of his performances, Ogbene sensationally earned a trial with English Premier League champions Chelsea, while also attracting interest from the likes of Aston Villa and, Neil McDonald's new club, Scunthrope United. However, it appears as if Brentford, who currently sit an impressive tenth place in the Championship, have won the battle for one of Irish footballs hottest prospects.