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Hadji Loses African Crown

Talented Arsenal striker Nwankwo Kanu has taken over from Sky Blues star Moustapha Hadji as African Player of the Year.

The 23-year-old goal machine has taken the Premiership by storm since arriving at Highbury during the summer as a replacement for want-away Nicolas Anelka.

And now the 6ft 5in target man has scooped the prestigious award from his home continent, succeeding former Deportivo de la Coruña man Hadji.

In this year’s vote the Moroccan ace, who joined the Sky Blues for £4 million during July, had slipped down to joint eighth.

Much of Hadji’s adulation last year was earned after his displays in Morocco’s 98’ World Cup campaign where he caused problems for Brazil, Spain and Norway.

Hadji has failed to make a massive impression since his arrival at Highfield Road, although he has been forced to play much of the season out of position due to injuries to the club’s strike-force.

The-27-year old has managed three goals in his fourteen appearances in a City shirt, a return Gordon Strachan will be hoping he can improve on.

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Meanwhile Italian keeper Raffaele Nuzzo is back at the club – but not for long.

The Inter Milan player who had his loan spell at Coventry terminated after the full recovery of Steve Ogrizovic is training with the club while he attempts to secure himself a deal somewhere else in the country.

However his case is not being helped by the fact that his only first team appearance for Coventry came in their 5-1 thrashing at lowly first division club Tranmere.

Nuzzo admits that he has to continually stress to potential buyers that the goals were not his fault.

He said:

"I want to take a copy of the video of that match to new clubs to show them the goals because I don’t think they were all my fault.

"People see the score and think it was down to me, but that is unfair.

"I really liked being at Coventry City and there are some great people here who I have become good friends with, but I have been told it is time to move on and that is football."

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The Hare and Hounds, Coventry

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Staying Up by Rick Gekoski

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 1 Dec 99

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM