Free agent Peter Odemwingie eager for football return

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport, Nigeria
Peter Odemwingie
Peter Odemwingie is a free agent after being released by Stoke City in the summer.

Nigeria international striker Peter Odemwingie is keen to find a route back into football following an inactive six months.

The 35-year-old, who spent three months on loan at Championship club Bristol City last season, was released by Stoke City in the summer.

But the free agent, who has not played competitively since scoring twice in seven appearances for The Robins, believes he still has plenty to offer.

"It's tough being a free agent but I'm in great shape and hopefully a move should happen this week," Odemwingie told BBC Sport.

"Mentally and physically I feel strong, when your body and heart is perfectly prepared then you wouldn't lack the right motivation to succeed.

"As you grow older it becomes tougher in football, you only need someone to believe in you and willing to take a chance.

"I still have a lot to offer a team and I only need to show what I can do somewhere for people to believe that."

Odemwingie was offered a brief lifeline by Hull City in July, featuring in three of the Tigers' pre-season friendlies during a fortnight of training in the summer. But manager Steve Bruce's departure meant the deal was off.

"Things might have been different if Steve Bruce had stayed on but that's life," said the striker with 36 goals in more than 100 Premier League appearances.

"I've been in the game long enough to know that things happen for a reason, I can only focus on what is ahead and not what could have been.

"There are clubs who have shown strong interest in me, the next couple of days will be very important for me."

Odemwingie started his European career at modest Belgian outfit La Louviere before notable spells at French club Lille and Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow.

He left Russia for England in August 2010 by joining West Bromwich Albion - where he netted 31 goals in 90 appearances.

An injury-hit spell meant he only scored six goals in 31 appearances for Stoke City after signing in January 2014 from Cardiff City.

His form for the Potters earned him an international recall and he played for Nigeria at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, scoring the winner against Bosnia-Herzegovina as the Super Eagles exited the tournament in the Round of 16.

After a goal-scoring debut against Kenya in Lagos in 2002, he has been widely regarded as one of the most committed and dedicated players to have represented his country.

As well as winning a silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games, he was part of the Nigeria squad that finished in third place at the 2004, 2006 and 2010 Africa Cup of Nations.