Ikechi Anya (born 3 January 1988) is a Scottish professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for English club Derby County and the Scotland national team. A versatile player, he has been fielded in a number of other positions, including winger, wing-back and full-back. Anya has previously played for Wycombe Wanderers and Northampton Town and Watford, as well as Spanish sides Celta de Vigo, Sevilla Atlético and Granada.
Anya with Watford in 2014
|Full name||Ikechi Anya|
|Date of birth||3 January 1988|
|Place of birth||Glasgow, Scotland|
|Height||5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)|
|2011–2012||→ Cádiz (loan)||29||(4)|
|2012–2013||→ Watford (loan)||25||(3)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:41, 14 May 2018 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16 October 2017
Eligible to also represent Romania, Nigeria or England internationally, he chose to play for the country of his birth, Scotland. He received his first cap for the Scottish national team on 6 September 2013, coming off the bench in a 2–0 defeat to Belgium and scored his first international goal four days later in Scotland's following match away to Macedonia.
Anya's father is a Nigerian research scientist of the Igbo ethnic group and his mother a Romanian economist. The couple met while studying in Bucharest. After finishing their studies, his parents moved to Scotland in the late 1980s for his father to obtain his doctorate in metallurgy.
Anya was born in Glasgow, Scotland and spent his early childhood in the Castlemilk area. His mother, Mariana, states that as a very young boy Anya "was kicking a ball in front of the house where he grew up in Glasgow from morning till night." The family moved to Oxford when he was seven years old after his father got a job at the University of Oxford. Anya maintained his fondness for Scotland, stating that whenever Scotland played England he would cheer "Come on Scotland".
His older brother, Chima, is a medical doctor.
His performances in the youth team ensured that he was well talked about within the club, enough that he was given the number 28 shirt by then manager Tony Adams for the match at Southend United on 11 September 2004, becoming the club's youngest ever player at the age of 16.
Like Russell Martin, he committed his short-term future to the club, signing a two-year deal in June 2005 and whilst at Wycombe won Apprentice of the Year at the inaugural Football League Awards in 2006.
He was released in the summer of 2007 and signed for Oxford City, before being snapped up in January 2008 by Halesowen Town. In the summer of 2008 he joined the Glenn Hoddle Academy and his contract expired in the summer of 2010.
On 28 February 2009, Anya signed for League One side Northampton Town. He made his debut as coming on as a substitute in the game away to Cheltenham Town on the same day. His first goal for the club came as part of a 3–4 defeat against Swindon Town on 24 March. His second goal came in the 92nd minute of the 3–1 victory at Leyton Orient, his goal wrapping up a victory in the fight against relegation for Northampton which they eventually lost.
Northampton manager Stuart Gray was keen to re-sign Anya on a long-term deal at the end of the season, but on 7 July 2009, he joined Sevilla Atlético, the reserve side of Sevilla, on a two-year contract.
Anya signed for Celta Vigo in July 2010 after his contract with the Glenn Hoddle Academy expired. On 13 July 2011, Anya signed a three-year contract with newly promoted La Liga side Granada. He was then loaned out to Cádiz for the season.
Anya was loaned to English side Watford for the 2012–13 season. He made his Watford debut as a substitute in the home defeat against Ipswich Town on 21 August 2012. He made his first start and scored his first goal for the club in the home defeat to Bradford City in the second round of the League Cup on 28 August 2012. Anya scored his first league goal for Watford against Blackpool in a 2–2 draw on 24 November 2012.
On 22 July 2013, Anya completed a permanent move to Watford, signing a three-year deal. He extended his contract following Watford's promotion to the Premier League in 2015, and was contracted to the club until his move to Derby County on transfer deadline day in August 2016.
Anya chose to play international football for Scotland, the land of his birth, but would also have been eligible for England (through residence), Nigeria (through his father) or Romania (through his mother). He received his first call up to the Scotland national team on 23 August 2013 for Scotland's World Cup qualifying double header in September against Belgium and Macedonia. He made his debut for Scotland against Belgium as a substitute on the hour mark on 6 September 2013 in a World Cup qualifying match, although Scotland were already unable to qualify for the final tournament. He made his first start and scored his first international goal in the following game, a 2–1 win in Macedonia on 10 September. On 7 September 2014 he scored against the world champions Germany in the first match of UEFA Euro 2016 qualification in Dortmund, Scotland lost 2–1.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Wycombe Wanderers||2004–05||League Two||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||4||0|
|Northampton Town||2008–09||League Two||14||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||14||3|
|Sevilla Atlético||2009–10||Segunda División B||22||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||22||0|
|Celta B||2010–11||Segunda División B||35||8||0||0||0||0||0||0||35||8|
|Cádiz (loan)||2011–12||Segunda División B||33||4||4||1||0||0||0||0||37||5|
|Derby County||2016–17||EFL Championship||26||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||27||1|
|Scotland national team|
|1.||10 September 2013||Philip II Arena, Skopje||North Macedonia||0–1||1–2 ||2014 World Cup qualification|
|2.||7 September 2014||Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund||Germany||1–1||2–1 ||EURO 2016 qualification|
|3.||24 March 2016||Generali Arena, Prague||Czech Republic||0–1||0–1 ||Friendly|
- "Club list of registered players: As at 19th May 2018: Derby County" (PDF). English Football League. p. 14. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
- "Premier League Player Profile Ikechi Anya". Barclays Premier League. 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
- "Watford FC Player Profiles". Watford Football Club. 17 June 2014. Archived from the original on 15 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
- Wejinya, Sammy (28 May 2014). "Nigerian Anya set to clip Eagle's wings". Super Sport. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
- "Scotland new boy Ikechi Anya: Most of my family are scientists.. I bucked the trend and became a footballer". dailyrecord.co.uk. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- Hind, Sally; Creasy, Richard (12 September 2013). "Proud mum of new Scotland hero Ikechi Anya tells how her son learned his trade on tough streets of Glasgow". Daily Record. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
- "Ikechi Anya, Wycombe Wanderers". Lfe.org.uk. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- "Ikechi Anya, Apprentice of the year". Ntfc.co.uk. 15 October 2007. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- "Sevilla Sign Glenn Hoddle Academy Club Player Ikechi Anya". Glennhoddleacademy.com. 6 July 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- "Anya, cuestión de cariño". El País. 16 July 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
- "Cobblers chance for winger". 4thegame.com. Retrieved 8 December 2010.[permanent dead link]
- "Northampton v Swindon". 4thegame.com. Retrieved 8 December 2010.[permanent dead link]
- "Ikechi Anya, el primer refuerzo del Sevilla Atlético de cara a la próxima temporada". Sevillafc.es. Archived from the original on 30 September 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- "Anya lands shock Spain move". Football365.com. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- TOM WORDEN in Jerez, Spain (13 September 2010). "Glenn Hoddle and the Spanish team that's full of Englishmen". The Sun. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- "Ikechi Anya, nuevo fichaje del Granada" (in Spanish). nuevofutbol.com. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- Cádiz C.F Squad Archived 22 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine cadizcf.com. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- "Official: Hornets delighted with a magnificent seven signings" Archived 2 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Watford Football Club. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
- OFFICIAL: Anya & Brown Sign Archived 25 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- "Ikechi Anya: Derby County sign Watford and Scotland winger". BBC Sport. 31 August 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
- "Bristol City 1–1 Derby". BBC Sport. 17 September 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- "Scot seals shock Sevilla transfer". Express.co.uk. 12 July 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- "BBC Sport Gossip Column". BBC Sport. 12 July 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- "Anya considering international future". Skysports.com. 13 July 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- "Ikechi Anya named in Scotland squad to face Belgium and Macedonia". STV Sport.
- "Macedonia 1–2 Scotland". BBC Sport. 10 September 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
- "Germany 2–1 Scotland". BBC Sport. 7 September 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
- "I. ANYA". Soccerway. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
- "Ikechi Anya". Soccerbase. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
- Strack-Zimmermann, Benjamin. "Ikechi Anya". www.national-football-teams.com.
- "Czech Republic 0–1 Scotland". BBC Sport. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2016.