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Omatsone Folarin "Sone" Aluko (born 19 February 1989) is a professional footballer who plays as a forward or winger for Chinese Super League club Beijing Renhe, on loan from Reading of the EFL Championship, and for the Nigeria national team.

Sone Aluko
Aluko, Sone.jpg
Aluko in 2010
Personal information
Full name Omatsone Folarin Aluko[1]
Date of birth (1989-02-19) 19 February 1989 (age 30)[2]
Place of birth Hounslow, England
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)[2]
Playing position Forward/Winger
Club information
Current team
Beijing Renhe
(on loan from Reading)
Number 10
Youth career
1997–2007 Birmingham City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2008 Birmingham City 0 (0)
2007–2008Aberdeen (loan) 20 (3)
2008Blackpool (loan) 1 (0)
2008–2011 Aberdeen 82 (7)
2011–2012 Rangers 21 (12)
2012–2016 Hull City 90 (13)
2016–2017 Fulham 49 (8)
2017– Reading 58 (4)
2019–Beijing Renhe (loan) 16 (3)
National team
2004–2005 England U16 4 (0)
2005–2006 England U17 3 (0)
2006 England U18 1 (0)
2007–2008 England U19 3 (0)
2009 Nigeria U20[3] 3 (0)
2011 Nigeria U23 1 (0)
2009– Nigeria 7 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13:19, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23:05, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Aluko began his career at Birmingham City but failed to make any league appearances. He joined Aberdeen on loan in the 2007–08 season and was loaned to Blackpool at the beginning of the 2008–09 season. After just one appearance for Blackpool, he signed for Aberdeen permanently in August 2008. He left Aberdeen in July 2011 at the end of his contract. Aluko signed for Rangers in November 2011 and scored 12 goals in 21 appearances during the 2011–12 season.

Born in England, Aluko was capped by England at all levels up to under-19 before accepting an offer to play for Nigeria.

His sister Eniola Aluko was born in Nigeria and is also a professional footballer who plays for Juventus and England.

Club careerEdit

Birmingham CityEdit

Aluko was born in Hounslow, London,[4] and brought up from a young age in Birmingham. He progressed through Birmingham City's youth system, which he joined at the age of eight.[5] He was given a first-team squad number in the 2005–06 season, and was an unused substitute in the Premier League match against Arsenal at Highbury in October 2005.[6] He made his first-team debut for Birmingham on 28 August 2007 as a late substitute in the League Cup tie against Hereford United.[7]

Aberdeen (loan)Edit

In August 2007, Aluko joined Scottish Premier League club Aberdeen on loan until January 2008.[8] He made his debut for Aberdeen as a late substitute in the UEFA Cup group match against Panathinaikos on 25 October 2007. He scored his first goal for the club the following week, opening the scoring in a 2–0 victory over Dundee United.[9] The loan deal was extended to keep Aluko at Aberdeen for the rest of the season.[10] In February 2008, as part of a performance which earned him the man-of-the-match award, he scored Aberdeen's second goal in a 2–2 draw against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Cup Round of 32.[11][12]

Blackpool (loan)Edit

Aluko signed for Blackpool on a month's emergency loan on 8 August 2008,[13] and made his debut the following day as a late substitute in the Seasiders' 1–0 home defeat to Bristol City.[14]

AberdeenEdit

 
Aluko playing for Aberdeen in 2009

On transfer deadline day, 1 September 2008, Aluko returned to Aberdeen on a permanent basis, signing a three-year contract for a fee of £50,000 with the club.[15][16] He made his return in a 2–1 home defeat to Hamilton on 13 September,[17] and scored his first goal since rejoining the club to clinch Aberdeen's first home win of the season, a single-goal victory over Kilmarnock on 1 November.[18] Aluko went on to win the SPL Young Player of the Month award for November 2008.[19] In September 2009, the tabloid press reported that he had put his Aberdeen future in jeopardy by going to play in the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup, against the wishes of manager Mark McGhee.[20] He left the club at the end of his contract in July 2011.

RangersEdit

Following his release from Aberdeen, Aluko had a trial with Juventus.[21] He then went on trial at Rangers.[22] Rangers were impressed with Aluko and offered him a contract, but the move was held up while Aberdeen and Rangers negotiated compensation.[23] Aluko signed for Rangers until the end of the season on 24 November 2011 after a deal was agreed.[23]

Aluko was banned for two games for diving to win a penalty in the Rangers–Dunfermline game of 3 December 2011. Rangers' manager, Ally McCoist, stated "The three gentlemen on the panel have effectively called my player a cheat and a liar, neither of which he is".[24] On 25 March 2012, Aluko scored the opening goal in Rangers' 3–2 victory over Celtic.[25] He scored a hat-trick for Rangers in a 4–0 victory at St Johnstone on the final day of the 2011–12 Scottish Premier League season.[26]

In June 2012, with his contract set to expire but the club holding an option to extend it, Aluko lodged an objection against the contract being transferred from Rangers to a new company set up by Charles Green.[27] PFA Scotland had previously commented that players were entitled to become free agents if they objected to the transfer.[28]

Aluko raised a constructive dismissal claim against Rangers.[29][30]

Hull CityEdit

2012–13Edit

 
Aluko playing for Hull City in 2012

On 25 July 2012, it was confirmed Aluko signed a two-year deal with Hull City.[31] He made his debut in the home match against Brighton and Hove Albion on 18 August.[32] On 1 September 2012 he scored his first goal for the club against Bolton Wanderers at the KC Stadium.[33] After the international break, Aluko scored his second goal for Hull City in the following game against Millwall to make it 4–0 before half time.[34] On 2 October, Aluko made it 3 in the Hull City shirt by scoring a wonderful strike from 20 yards out into the top corner against Blackpool.[35]

His next goal came at the end of October against Bristol City. Himself and Jay Simpson linked up to put Hull 1–0 ahead inside 8 minutes, to which the commentator compared the goal to Barcelona.[36] He bagged another in the next game, at home to Barnsley. Teammate Ahmed Elmohamady's cross was half-cleared and Aluko, unlike Barnsley's defenders, was alert to the ball and fired home from a tight angle.[37] He then made it 3 in 3 and 6 goals for the season against Wolverhampton Wanderers, putting in a free-kick from 25 yards into the bottom-left corner past Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme.[38] On 17 November, Aluko scored twice against former club Birmingham City to put Hull 0–2 up, they went on to win the game 2–3.[39] This made it five goals in five games for Aluko and eight goals for the season. In November 2012, Aluko picked up an Achilles injury, initially ruling him out for a month, which Hull City incidentally won all four games he was missing, but later in January the injury flared up again. This meant he would require surgery, with fears he would be out for 6 months, but after successful surgery, he was expected to be back in 2 months time.[citation needed]

2013–14Edit

Aluko's first goal of the season, a 76th-minute "stunning volley", was Hull's winner in a 3–2 victory away to Newcastle United on 21 September.[40] In November Steve Bruce announced that Aluko denied a contract extension, this blow to Hull came shortly after Aluko tore his Achilles again which would see him out of action until February. He signed a new two-and-a-half-year contract with the club on 3 January 2014, telling the club website "I'm happy to be extending my stay here and I was always hopeful it would get sorted".[41] On 17 May 2014 he played as a substitute in the 2014 FA Cup Final against Arsenal.[42]

On 2 June 2016, it was announced that Aluko and teammate Ryan Taylor would leave the club prior to their contract expiry.[43]

FulhamEdit

On 8 July 2016, Aluko joined Fulham on a free transfer. Aluko signed a two-year deal with an option for a further year.[44] On 13 August 2016, Aluko scored his first goal for Fulham, the opener in a 2–1 victory over Preston North End.[45]

ReadingEdit

On 29 August 2017, Aluko joined Reading for an undisclosed fee, signing a four-year deal.[46]

The fee has since been stated as £7.5 million.[47]

Beijing Renhe (loan)Edit

On 26 February 2019, Aluko joined Beijing Renhe on loan until the end of the 2019 season.[48][49]

International careerEdit

England YouthEdit

Aluko represented England at under-16, under-17 and under-18 level before making his debut for the England under-19 team on 11 September 2007 in a friendly against Belarus under-19.[50] He was involved in two of the goals in a 4–0 win.[51] He was selected in the 23-man provisional squad for the 2008 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship[52] but did not make the final 18.[53]

NigeriaEdit

Aluko was named in the squad for the Nigeria under 20 national football team for the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt. He played in games against Venezuela, Spain and Tahiti.[54]

Aluko was called up to the Nigerian national team for a friendly against the Republic of Ireland on 29 May 2009, an offer which with the support of his family he chose to accept.[55] He made his full international debut in the starting eleven, forcing the Irish goalkeeper to save his 40-yard lobbed free kick and playing the first 61 minutes of the game.[56][57]

In April 2010, he was named in the provisional Nigeria squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup,[58] but failed to make the final cut. He was finally called up by former Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi and therefore has a chance to add to his one cap against Republic of Ireland in May 2009 after he represented England at various age-group levels. He was brought into the squad to face Namibia and Malawi in the World Cup Qualifiers in the month of June 2012, but was an unused sub for both games.

Aluko was included in a pre-selection for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations but had to renounce because of an injury.[59] Nigeria later won the tournament.

He scored his first goals for Nigeria against South Africa in a 2–2 draw on 19 November 2014 in the qualifying round for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.[60]

Personal lifeEdit

Aluko's older sister, Eniola, is also a footballer who has played for England women's football team 102 times at full international level; she has played in two World Cup quarter finals and reached the quarter finals of the London 2012 Olympics football tournament with Great Britain.[61] His father is a former MP in Nigeria, while Bolaji Aluko, a chemical engineering professor, is his uncle.[62][63]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

As of match played 7 July 2019
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Birmingham City 2007–08[64] Premier League 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
2008–09[65] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
Aberdeen (loan) 2007–08[64] SPL 20 3 4 0 2 0 5 1 31 4
Blackpool (loan) 2008–09[65] Championship 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
Aberdeen 2008–09[65] SPL 32 2 4 2 1 0 37 4
2009–10[66] 22 3 2 0 0 0 2 0 26 3
2010–11[67] 28 2 4 0 1 0 33 2
Total 82 7 10 2 2 0 2 0 96 9
Rangers 2011–12[68] SPL 21 12 2 0 0 0 0 0 23 12
Hull City 2012–13[69] Championship 23 8 0 0 1 0 24 8
2013–14[70] Premier League 17 1 5 0 0 0 22 1
2014–15[71] 25 1 1 0 1 0 4 1 31 2
2015–16[72] Championship 25 3 4 0 2 0 31 3
Total 90 13 10 0 4 0 4 1 108 14
Fulham 2016–17[73] Championship 45 8 3 1 0 0 2 0 51 9
2017–18[74] Championship 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Total 49 8 3 1 0 0 2 0 55 9
Reading 2017–18[74] Championship 39 3 1 0 0 0 40 3
2018–19[75] Championship 19 1 1 0 0 0 20 1
Total 58 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 60 4
Beijing Renhe (loan) 2019[76] CSL 16 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 16 3
Career total 337 50 30 3 10 0 11 2 2 0 390 55

International goalsEdit

Scores and results list Nigeria's goal tally first:
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 19 November 2014 Akwa Ibom Stadium, Uyo, Nigeria   South Africa 1–2 2–2 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification[60]
2. 2–2

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Sone Aluko". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2009). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2009–10. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-84596-474-0.
  3. ^ Sone AlukoFIFA competition record
  4. ^ Rollin, Glenda; Rollin, Jack, eds. (2008). Playfair Football Annual 2008–2009. London: Headline. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-7553-1821-6.
  5. ^ "Player profiles: Sone Aluko". Birmingham City F.C. Archived from the original on 17 May 2008. Retrieved 11 August 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ "Arsenal 1–0 Birmingham". BBC Sport. 2 October 2005. Retrieved 11 August 2008.
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  11. ^ Taylor, Julian (14 February 2008). "Aberdeen 2–2 Bayern Munich". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 February 2008.
  12. ^ Gilfeather, Frank (16 February 2008). "Aberdeen want more of same from youngsters". The Times. London. Retrieved 18 June 2008 – via NewsBank.
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  44. ^ "Sone Aluko: Fulham sign former Hull City forward on two-year deal". BBC Sport. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
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  54. ^ "Technical Report and Statistics" (PDF). FIFA. 2009. p. 144. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
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  62. ^ Tunde Adekeye (23 July 2008). "Eniola Aluko: Goal Poacher And Brilliant Lawyer". Nigerian Muse. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  63. ^ "Eniola will not fly". BBC Sport. 14 May 2005. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
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  66. ^ "Games played by Sone Aluko in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  67. ^ "Games played by Sone Aluko in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
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  73. ^ "Games played by Sone Aluko in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
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  75. ^ "Games played by Sone Aluko in 2018/2019". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  76. ^ "S. Aluko". Soccerway. Perform Group. 1 March 2019.

External linksEdit