Following the victory of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon at the 2017 African Cup of Nations hosted by Gabon in January, it is clear that the Super Eagles of Nigeria needs all the help it can get if the team intends to qualify for next year’s FIFA World Cup billed for Russia.
The squad list recently released by coach Gernot Rorh for the friendlies with Burkina Faso and Senegal has fueled debate over who deserved to play and who should stay at home prompting compilation of a list of 5 strikers who can shoot the Eagles to the World Cup Ticket. Enjoy…
1. Anthony Nwakaeme (HAPOEL BE’ER SHEVA, ISRAEL)
Currently the second top scorer in the Israeli first division with 11 goals, Nwakaeme has fired 15 goals in all competitions this season for the Camels who lead the table with three points ahead of their closest rivals Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Nwakaeme can play in any position in the front three as a winger, a second striker and can lead the attack. The 26-year-old is strong, fast and very good in one-on-one situations and can equally score goals. He is one of the three Nigerian forwards in Europe to have surpassed the 10- goal mark this season.
Nwakaeme previously featured for Hapoel Ra’anana, Universitatea Cluj, Petrolul Ploiești, Universitatea Cluj, Arieșul Turda before he joined Hapoel Be’er Sheva last season.
He was also instrumental in Hapoel Be’er Sheva winning the Israeli title last season and they are on course for another this year.
2. Henry Onyekuru ( K.A.S. EUPEN, BELGIUM)
Henry Onyekuru has been a revelation for his Belgian club KAS Eupen since his arrival last year, helping them to win promotion to the top flight in his first season.
He has continued to replicate the form this season, scoring 14 goals and providing six assists in all competitions.
The nimble-footed forward is seen as one of the most exciting young talents in Europe and was linked with several top teams in Europe during the January transfer window.
CSKA Moscow and Celtic FC of Scotland were reportedly the two notable teams that had lucrative offers turned down for the 19-year-old Nigerian.
Onyekuru is the second highest scoring Nigerian in Europe this season, behind Hapoel Be’er Sheva forward Anthony Nwakaeme. He began his career with Aspire Academy in Senegal before joining Eupen in the summer of 2015.
3. Stephen Odey (MFM, NIGERIA)
Odey is fast proving to be a nightmare for defenders this season with pacy runs off the ball and smart and breathtaking finishes.
His hat-trick against Lobi Stars on matchday 3 will go down as the best set of goals he ever scored in his young career.
If Odey continues to improve as he has done over the past two years, then he is sure to end up with a Super Eagles spot and in Europe with a decent club.
4. Aaron Samuel (CSKA MOSCOW, RUSSIA)
Having secured a four-and-half-year deal with Russian club CSKA Moscow in January, Samuel is another decent option for the Super Eagles in attack.
Samuel is a power-playing striker with pace. One of his major assets is powerful running with the ball and a ferocious shot.
5. Gbolahan Salami (KUOPION PALLOSEURA, FINLAND)
Gbolahan Salami has been on the fringes of the Super Eagles for some years now. At 26, Salami’s career has tilted at great success but always seemed to fall short. Now many feel he is on the verge of realising his potential since he signed a deal in Europe.
Salami scored 14 league goals for Kuopion Palloseura last season, finishing as the fourth top scorer in the elite division in his debut season in Finland.
The former Enyimba and Warri Wolves forward also broke a four-year record at Kuopion Palloseura previously held by Ilja Venalainen (2012) and Peter Sampoalso (2001) with 12 goals each to win last season’s top scorer award in Finland. – Compiled by Complete Sport’s Jonny Edward
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