Following a publication from PUNCH Sports Extra, the longstanding question of who partners Victor Osimhen in the Super Eagles attack seems to have been settled by the country’s football faithful after a host of fans suggested to head coach, Jose Peseiro, that Nottingham Forest striker, Taiwo Awoniyi, was the most suitable partner for the Napoli man.
Osimhen has made 27 appearances for Nigeria, scoring 20 goals plus eight assists.
His hat-trick against Sao Tome and Principe on Sunday fired him past Obafemi Martins and Ikechukwu Uche to move to fourth position in the country’s all-time top scorers chart.
In his time so far with the Eagles, it’s glaring that the workaholic forward, as potent as he’s been, hasn’t struck a deadly partnership upfront with a fellow striker, having played with several partners.
Osimhen’s quality, which has seen him being rated as one of the deadliest strikers in the world, is never in doubt and has always been a handful for even the world’s best defenders. Dutch defenders Virgil van Dijk and Daley Blind easily come to mind.
The Napoli striker also has an incredible pace that keeps even his teammates on top of their toes.
Against Sao Tome and Principe on Sunday in Uyo, Peseiro adopted the 4-4-2 formation to accommodate his two in-form strikers, Osimhen and Awoniyi for the dead rubber final qualifier for next year’s AFCON in Ivory Coast.
Both strikers started in front for the Eagles in the 6-0 win over the Selecao, with Osimhen bagging a hat-trick and Awoniyi grabbing another goal, yet there were flashes that the players were yet to fully understand each other.
Peseiro equally admitted after the game that the Eagles’ striking partnership of Awoniyi and Osimhen needed time and training to gel.
PUNCH Sports Extra on Tuesday asked readers to give their opinion on who should partner the Napoli forward and a large number of responses suggested that Awoniyi was the best.
Isaiah Ikwumonu wrote on Facebook, “Awoniyi should partner with Osimhen.”
James Haruna added, “Awoniyi best partner for Osimhen.”
Another PUNCH Sports Extra reader, Seun Popoola, said, “It takes a lot to work with Osimhen because he is the kind of striker who wants to get the goal which means he will most times be selfish and as such you need a cool-headed player to partner him.
“(Kelechi) Iheanacho likes to score and so does Samuel Chukwueze, Victor Boniface is no different and I think the best player to think of is Awoniyi. He is fast and often assists his teammates; we saw that in Forest’s last game before the break.”
PUNCH Sports Extra followers on Twitter Man of Gaza, King Kunle, Dubbstar, Nnadozie Henry and Oro Nations all agreed that Awoniyi was definitely the man to be considered as Osimhen’s partner in the Eagles attack.