Nigeria international striker Anthony Ujah has revealed he turned down ‘bigger financial offers’ from Russia and China in order to secure his preferred move to Werder Bremen. The 24-year old scored 36 goals in 102 appearances for German side Cologne to attract interest from an unnamed club in China who were set to triple his wages. He also received big offers from two Russian clubs but Ujah opted for Werder Bremen to continue his development in the German Bundesliga.
“I had two options, to follow the money or walk the steps of career development,” Ujah told BBC Sport. “I have big ambitions and going that route [money over development] at this stage of my career could affect my progress.” Cologne were in the second tier when Ujah initially joined in 2012 from Mainz 05 before making the move permanent a year later. He scored 13 league goals in his first season and 11 in the 2013/14 season to help the club secure a return to the top flight. Ujah added 10 goals for Cologne last campaign to ensure another stay in the top flight before completing his switch to four-time Bundesliga champions Werder Bremen. He admitted that it was the right time to leave Cologne and start afresh. “After three years in Cologne I wanted a completely fresh challenge away from my comfort zone. “Other clubs presented interesting offers as well but Werder Bremen fit into my ambition and desire. “I joined a club on the way up with big plans.” The Super Eagle also revealed that Werder coach Viktor Skrypnyk played a massive role in his decision to move to the Weserstadion. “When I spoke to the coach he surprised me by analysing my football, strength and how I fit into his plans,” he explained. “His exceptional interest to details and time spent to study my game gave me an extra motivation to want to repay him and hopefully move my game and career to the next level. “Notable strikers like Claudio Pizarro, Ivan Klasnić, Miroslav Klose and others left from Bremen to bigger clubs and career, it’s obviously a good path to follow.” Ujah, who was part of the Nigeria squad at the 2013 Fifa Confederations Cup in Brazil, has made five international appearances for his country. Despite his omission from the 2014 World Cup squad and a recent 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, Ujah remains confident his club form will hopefully earn him a recall. “There is a lot of talent in Nigeria – amazing players – and it’s not an easy decision for the coach,” he added. “I am optimistic that if I continue to do well with my club I’ll get another chance but right now I just want to get started with Bremen.”