THEY CALL ME THE WAN­DERER

Nine-loan Obika keen to stick

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Jamie Holt

NO­MADIC doesn’t re­ally do Jonathan Obika’s short ca­reer jus­tice – the striker is on his NINTH loan at his SIXTH club in FOUR years.

But with chances at par­ent club Tot­ten­ham hard to come by – one start and three sub ap­pear­ances since sign­ing in 2008 – the 22-yearold cur­rently at Charlton is ready to find a per­ma­nent home.

He’s cer­tainly put him­self in the shop win­dow of late. In his last two games at the Val­ley, Obika has come off the bench to score a last­minute win­ner, down­ing Leeds and most re­cently Wolves last Satur­day.

But th­ese brief chances are some­thing the for­mer Yeovil, Mill­wall, Crys­tal Palace, Peter­bor­ough and Swin­don for­ward has grown far too ac­cus­tomed to.

In his four years in the Football League, Obika has played in more than 100 games and scored at a rate of one ev­ery five matches, but he says it’s hard to build mo­men­tum when he’s be­ing dragged from one club to an­other.

“When you go out on loan ob­vi­ously the gaffer knows very lit­tle about you, so you have to show what you can do with the op­por­tu­ni­ties you are given,” said Obika, who has never made a Pre­mier League ap­pear­ance.

“My first sea­son out on loan at Yeovil in 2009 was a new type of ex­pe­ri­ence, but you do get used to it the more you do it.

“It has taken a while for me to get go­ing at Charlton. As a player you al­ways want to start games and when that doesn’t hap­pen you look at your­self and other op­tions, and how you can make an im­pact in games from the bench.

Im­press

“It’s some­thing you have to do when you’re on loan. You’re des­per­ate to do well and im­press as much as you can. To be fair, ev­ery club I’ve been to have been great with me.

“So I’ve just made sure the play­ers and the gaffer know what I can do in train­ing and stuck at it.

“It’s strange to score so late for two home games in a row, but the key has been that my goals have been im­por­tant ones and helped the team.”

That 2-1 vic­tory over Wolves saw the Ad­dicks ex­tend their un­beaten run to six games be­fore the week­end – too late for the play-offs but great tim­ing for Obika. Like fel­low Spurs striker Harry Kane, him­self des­per­ate to prove his tal­ents on loan at Le­ices­ter, Obika signed a one-year con­tract ex­ten­sion with Spurs in Fe­bru­ary and hasn’t given up hope of mak­ing an im­pact in the top flight.

He cites first-team reg­u­lar Steven Caulker, who also had a spell at Yeovil in 2009, as one of the rea­sons he still be­lieves.

“The coaches at Spurs do keep in con­tact with me and see how I’m do­ing, but I don’t re­ally think of Spurs when I’m on loan.You’re con­cen­trat­ing on your­self re­ally,” Obika added.

“But you see some­one like Steven who has gone on to take that step up, and it gives you con­fi­dence that it is pos­si­ble.

“I signed a new one-year deal and the aim is to push on in the Spurs team next sea­son, but if that doesn’t hap­pen I’d def­i­nitely like a per­ma­nent home some­where.

“It’s hard to say where my level is at. I’ve never had a chance in the Pre­mier League, but I do feel com­fort­able in the Cham­pi­onship.

“It’s ev­ery­one’s dream to play at the high­est level, and I’m hop­ing to get my chance at Spurs. If I put in the work, be­lieve I can.”

PIC­TURES: Martin Dal­ton & Ac­tion Im­ages

LONG AND WIND­ING ROAD: Jonathan Obika cel­e­brates his goal against Wolves. He is in­spired by Steven Caulker (above), who made the break­through at Spurs af­ter three loans

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