There is no doubt that shouldering the Super Eagles’ goalscoring responsibility has always been a huge task for many players that have been saddled with the responsibility in the past.
The team has produced top goal poachers such as late Rasheed Yekini, Victor Agali, Julius Aghahowa, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Emmanuel Emenike, Obafemi Martins, Odion Ighalo, and a few others, all of whom have shown their eyes for goals.
Some of these players in their individual ways took Nigeria to a certain level in Africa and global football under different coaches that handled the team.
However, the current strikers in the Super Eagles fold may not be as prolific as the aforementioned, but there is evidence that the team is blessed with an array of strikers capable of scoring goals. At the moment, Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen remains the only player that has shown quality goal sense.
With Nigeria facing a make or mar 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against the Squirrels of Benin and Crocodile of Lesotho on March 22 and 30 respectively, there are growing fears that the Super Eagles may find goal scoring difficult with the potential absence of Osimhen due to his recuperation from a head collision during a Seria A game against Atalanta.
Recall that Osimhen was on target when the Super Eagles played out a 4-4 draw against Sierre Lone at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo.
Irrespective of his potential absence from the squad when the team list will be named, there are other quality strikers such as Paul Onuachu, Henry Onyekuru, Terem Moffi, and Cyriel Dessers who could grab the golden chance of catapulting themself to Nigeria’s number 9 striker.
Onuachu is Nigeria’s most prolific number nine in Europe. His incredible goal-scoring record continues to guarantee him a spot on Rohr’s list despite the German’s preference for others. The gangling player has been compared to former Nigerian star, Victor Agali due to his aerial presence.
On the other Terem Moffi is also one player that has shown great potentials with his prolific goal-scoring form with FC Lorient in Ligue 1. He has netted 8 goals in 21 league appearances this season. A good finisher of the ball, Moffi’s ability to hold the ball and find a pocket of space has made him a nightmare for defenders in France.
Dessers and Onyekuru have also shown that they can be of great asset to the team if giving the chance to shoulder Super Eagles’ goalscoring responsibility. Onyekuru’s Galatasary form has been impressive since joining the team during the January transfer window. As for Dessers, he will be hoping to capitalize on his fine form with Genk to make a big impression with the Super Eagles, He made his first cap against the Carthage Eagles in an international friendly.
Also, Junior Ajayi is an African champion with Al Ahly who has been on the news with his goals in the Egyptian League. He was part of the team that featured at the Club World Cup, where the team crashed out in the final to Bayern Munich.
By and large, Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has a big decision to make as per the striker that will spearhead the team’s attack when they square up against Benin and Lesotho in the 2021 AFCON qualifiers. Who will he trust to spearhead the attack? Only time will tell.
By Augustine Akhilomen