Nigeria’s Super Eagles have been known down the years with iconic players like Osimhen and strikers leading the line from the front. Quite understandably none other has been able to do it like Rashidi Yekini, whose record as Nigeria’s record goalscorer stands.
Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Julius Aghaowa, Nwankwo Kanu, Emmanuel Emenike are some of the players who have tried but and Odion Ighalo none have measured up to the former Vitoria Setubal and Gateway United striker.
Thus it was no surprise when many quickly nicknamed Victor Osimhen as the next Rashidi Yekini after his heroics at the FIFA U17 World Cup in Chile 2015. The Napoli striker has been hitting the numbers but not a consistent basis for Nigeria.
These Players Can Do What Osimhen Does For Nigeria.
Nevertheless, the good news is that a lot of Nigerian players also want to be at the AFCON and have been putting up numbers to push their cause. Many may not have been given the opportunity by ex-coach Gernot Rohr but with him relieved of his duties and with interim boss, Austin Eguavon revealing that there would be around five new players joining the team for the AFCON, we look at some Nigerian strikers who also can do what Osimhen can for the team.
When Watford signed Emmanuel Dennis from Club Brugge in Belgium in the summer, not even himself would have expected to win the November player of the month in the Premier League.
The award was deserved though with the player hitting seven goals and five assists in fifteen Premier League games. Even if he does not keep up with the same momentum, Dennis has done enough to be trusted as Nigeria’s striker for the AFCON.
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For a player who has not been a starter in Netherlands, Cyril Dessers has shown he can be trusted to help a tiring team finish strongly.
Four goals in six UEFA Europa Conference League matches and another four in the Dutch Eredivisie makes Dessers a good addition to the team even on a cameo basis. He may not have been favoured by Rohr but maybe Eguavon has plans for him.
Taiwo Awoniyi is another player who have played his way into reckoning with his performances in Germany. He sits six on the top scorers chart with nine goals and has also provided four in eight Europa Conference League games.
With Rohr, he made just a single Super Eagles appearance but he continues to be in the songs of inclusion that the fans of the Super Eagles have been singing.
The Genk forward is already a part of the team and just behind Osimhen in the pecking order, atleast until Odion Ighalo resuscitated.
The Belgium based forward has 11 goals in Belgium but his numbers for Nigeria leaves a lot to he desired.
Nevertheless, he gives another approach to Nigeria’s attack and if utilise properly, the tall and lanky forward may be our hero on rainy days.
Another tall and lanky striker who has been hitting the target in Spain, Umar has grown in leaps and bounds from the player who was part of the Dream team that won Bronze in Brazil.
He has gone on to shine for Partizan Belgrade in Serbia while also stealing the show with Almeria last season scoring 20 goals in 40 Segunda games while also putting up 8 in 20 already this season.
He is yet to break into the national but if he does make the AFCON final list, he definitely won’t be a waste of slot.