While Jadon Sancho’s passport is slightly tattered following his move to Germany, fellow Londoner David Olaoye’s is positively battered.
The 22-year-old is preparing to embark upon a football career in a fifth country, having joined Norwegian side Nybergsund in March.
Bitter lows of -9° couldn’t be further removed from the sun of Buenos Aires where, a year ago, Olaoye was playing his football.
But adapting to a new environment has become second nature to the forward, who boasts a footballing CV comparable to few other Englishmen.
Olaoye, who doesn’t turn 23 until next October, has already ticked off England, Greece, Slovenia, Argentina and, now, Norway in his ventures around the world.
The journey started in England where, having represented several amateur sides, Olaoye was spotted by Kostas Kiassos- a former Greek professional footballer who turned out for Panathinaikos and Numancia among others- while playing Saturday League for Newham FC.
Olaoye moved to Greece, signing for AO Tympakiou, but cut short the move after half a season to join Slovenia side NK Bravo.
“It didn’t end well in Slovenia because I got injured two weeks after I signed, which put me out for the rest of the season. That was tough. Luckily I was mentally strong and motivated to get back playing again,” Olaoye recalls.
But injury ended up providing Olaoye with a lucky break in the shape of a 2017 move to Argentina.
“It was very surprising and out of the blue for me, as well as my friends and family. I got in contact with an agent over there and he brought me to Argentina, where I signed a three-year professional contract with Club El Porvenir.
“It was obviously different, from the people to the language to the culture, and it was all very new to me, but I instantly had a passion for this beautiful country.”
In signing for Porvenir, Olaoye became the first Englishman to play professionally in Argentina.
“I’m very proud to have made history in Argentina. It’s a country that has a huge place in my heart. The people I got to know there, including the fans and the media, were brilliant.
“For me to have made history in Argentina is a happy moment, and being part of the history of Argentine football as a whole is amazing.”
Professional football in Argentina was a far cry from the European football Olaoye was used to. “One of the main differences is the culture and passion,” he remembers.
“You learn many things while playing in South America, because it’s physically harder to play in than Europe. In Argentina they have a passion that I’d never seen before.
“The work ethic there is unbelievable. A lot of the people there have it difficult so they are grateful for the opportunity to play football.
“They give 100% and train as if it was their last session, so that taught me a lot. The work doesn’t stop and you’ve always got to want more and improve.
“I definitely had a drive, but the whole experience of being in Argentina gave me a different type of energy and passion to carry forward wherever my career takes me.”
In March, Olaoye dusted off the passport and moved once again.
“I was looking for a club for the new year, but I knew it was going to be hard in the main European leagues so I thought I should look for a Scandinavian club where I could get a full season in.
“I spoke to my twin brother who plays in Germany and my younger brother who plays in Norway. They both agreed with my opinion so I spoke to a couple of people and the opportunity to trial at Nybergsund came up.
“I did well in the training sessions and in the matches so they wanted to sign me. It was a relieving moment because I didn’t have a club at the time and I’d missed the last few months for several reasons.
“It’s just nice to have a place where I can knuckle down and focus on growing as a player and a professional as a whole. That’s very important for me.”
Nybergsund are having to battle the snow in preparation for the start of the Norwegian season on 13 April, but Olaoye isn’t craving a return to Blighty just yet, explaining: “For sure I’ll come back to England at some point, but I don’t think it’ll be anytime soon.
“You never know what will happen in football nowadays though. One or two good seasons and who knows what that will lead to?”
There is one thing Olaoye is pining for though. “I miss my mum’s food when I’m away,” he laughs.
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