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WC Qualification Africa

Six strikers who should be playing for Nigeria ahead of Odion Ighalo

15:40 EAT 16/11/2021
Odion Ighalo
The Super Eagles aren’t short of firepower, despite Gernot Rohr’s decision to recall the veteran

  • Ighalo, Rohr

    Odion Ighalo’s return

    As had been anticipated before Nigeria’s squad for their Gameweek 5 and 6 qualifiers was named, Ighalo made his international recall when he was named on Gernot Rohr’s list.

    He didn’t feature in the victory over Liberia after arriving late for camp, but is anticipated to make his return to action against Cape Verde in Nigeria’s do-or-die showdown on Tuesday.

    However, is there any sense in turning to a veteran attacker who last represented the national side over two years ago?

    Ighalo may be in fine form in Saudi Arabia, but surely these five forwards would be better bets for the Super Eagles moving forward.

  • Cyriel Dessers - PSV 2021-22

    Cyriel Dessers

    The forward has been breaking records at Feyenoord this season, demonstrating his quality as an impact sub with four goals off the bench since late September.

    He headed into this international break on a three-game scoring streak after settling quickly in Dutch football, and his hot form should not have been ignored with the Africa Cup of Nations in view.

    The 26-year-old made his one and only appearance in October 2020.

  • Taiwo Awoniyi of Union Berlin and Nigeria.

    Taiwo Awoniyi

    It’s ridiculous that Awoniyi has been overlooked for the international break, and what does that say about how the forward is considered in the eyes of the manager.

    He’s in the form of his life, having scored seven goals in 11 league outings for Union Berlin since signing from Liverpool, but has been snubbed for a player featuring in the Saudi top flight.

    Rohr should be cultivating Awoniyi as a key option for the Eagles in Cameroon in January.

  • Terem Moffi

    Terem Moffi

    Admittedly, Moffi isn’t exactly in as hot form this term as he was last season, but he’s nonetheless registered five goal contributions (two goals, three assists) in Ligue 1 this season.

    He’s making an impact in one of the world’s toughest leagues, having scored 14 for FC Lorient last term, but has been unceremoniously dropped from Rohr’s plans.

    At 22, he’s the kind of player around whom Nigeria should be building.

  • Emmanuel Dennis of Watford and Nigeria.

    Emmanuel Dennis

    Unlike Isaac Success before him, Dennis has taken immediately to the Premier League since signing for Watford during the offseason.

    He already has six goal involvements (three goals, three assists) in 10 league outings, and was outstanding last month as Everton were dismantled 5-2.

    The 24-year-old hasn’t been called up since November 2020.

  • Simy Nwankwo Nigeria training Russia World Cup 2018

    Simy Nwankwo

    Does Rohr not realise that Simy made history, as far as Nigerian strikers are concerned, in the Italian top flight last season.

    His 20-goal haul for Crotone made him the all-time top Nigerian scorer in Serie A, and represented the best single-season return ever for a player from the West African nation in any of the world’s major leagues.

    Ok, so he hasn’t been quite as sharp for Salernitana this term—scoring one and contributing another assist—but his unique profile and versatile contribution should leave him ahead of Ighalo in the pecking order.

  • Almeria and Nigeria striker Umar Sadiq.

    Umar Sadiq

    Sadiq has been in lethal form in the Spanish second tier this season and last season.

    Already this term he has seven goals in 15 outings, having previously bagged 20 last term, representing a superb and consistent haul since arriving in Spanish football.

    A star with Nigeria’s U-23s, Sadiq could still be a key figure in Nigeria’s future, but instead, Rohr is looking to the past…