Samuel Kalu has just been transferred from Bordeaux to Watford and has found himself at the center of a controversy. Many Hornets fans doubt that the Nigerian international is really 24 years old.
It's an episode not unlike the Joseph Marie Minala affair. While he has officially joined Watford from Girondins de Bordeaux on a permanent transfer, Samuel Kalu is already a topic of discussion within the club. Many Hornets fans have doubts about his age. On the web, several pictures of the winger are being taken and shared by fans. Sometimes mocking, sometimes suspicious.
"If Kalu is 24, then Roy is 28," said one of the club's supporters in response to a photo of Kalu next to the 74-year-old manager. "He looks five years younger than Roy," said another fan, while another wondered: "Can anyone check his documents? He's never 24". Some went even further with facial recognition applications to make the England manager look younger than Kalu.
These taunts are reminiscent of the mockery and suspicion that has accompanied several African players in the past, suspected of age fraud. This is a situation that Samuel Kalu will have to face, by bringing his answer on the field. He will have to prove that he has a great sense of dribbling and a good speed for an old man.