Etebo will see out his loan at Galatasaray – Stoke City boss O’Neill insists

Despite struggling to establish himself with the Yellow and Reds, the Potters boss stated the midfielder will not return to Bet365 Stadium in January

Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill has insisted Oghenekaro Etebo will see out his loan contract with Turkish Super Lig side Galatasaray.

The 25-year-old midfielder teamed up with the Turk Telekom Stadium outfit on a season-long loan in the summer of 2020.

The Nigeria international has struggled to make a meaningful impact with the Yellow and Reds since his arrival in Turkey.

Etebo has only made 11 appearances across all competitions for Galatasaray this season, including eight in the Super Lig.

His failure to enjoy sufficient game-time has lent credence to the rumour making the rounds that he is set to cut short his loan and return to Stoke City.

O’Neill has now revealed the midfielder and other stoke players away from the club temporarily will not return to Bet365 Stadium until the end of their loan deals.

“It’s definitely a rumour! The players who are out on loan are out on loan for the season and that won’t change,” O’Neill said in a pre-match press conference.

“It was what they wanted at that period in time. They made that decision and we made that decision as a club.

“Maybe because the loan hasn’t gone well, you can’t just decide you want to come back. It doesn’t work like that.

“We don’t envisage any of the loan players who are currently at various clubs returning to Stoke in January.”

Etebo spent the second half of the 2019-2020 season with Getafe in La Liga and despite the club having an option to sign him permanently, they chose not to activate the clause.

The midfielder teamed up with Stoke City in the summer of 2018 from Portuguese club Feirense and has featured in 51 games for the side across all competitions.

Etebo will hope to deliver convincing showings in training to boost his chances of featuring for Galatasaray when they take on Genclerbirligi in a league game on Saturday.

The midfielder is a key member of the Nigeria national team and featured prominently as they secured a back-to-back draw against Sierra Leone in the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in November.

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