OSIMHEN, CHUKWUEZE TO SLUG IT OUT FOR AFRICAN YOUTH PLAYER AWARD

OSIMHEN, CHUKWUEZE TO SLUG IT OUT FOR AFRICAN YOUTH PLAYER AWARD

BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

If there is any of the eight major categories of the CAF Awards, which Nigeria is certain to win next month, it is the African Youth Player of the Year.

Two key Nigerian players made the final cut of three, which highly increases the chances of Nigeria getting the award.

 

Achraf Hakimi of Morocco and Bundesliga’s  Borussia Dortmund will be contesting against the powerful duo of Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen, the new goal-scoring machines of Super Eagles and Ligue I’s Lille and Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze.

Both, who only this year entrenched themselves into the mainstream Super Eagles were teammates in the World Cup winning Golden Eaglets of 2015.

Achraf Hakimi plays mainly at the right back and switches also to the left back. In most awards, strikers are often more favoured than defenders, a situation that could aid either Osimhen or Chukwueze winning the award.

At the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, Chukwueze waltzed through a packed South African defence to open scoring in the quarterfinals clash.

He did the same in securing the winner for Nigeria in a 2-1 defeat of Benin Republic in the opening game of 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

His proficiency is further amplified by the recent interest that Chelsea is showing in the power-packed Nigerian striker.

He was the only African in the 10-man shortlist of 2019 Ballon D’Or award for best U21.

Since Osimhen moved from Belgian side, R. Charleroi S.C. to French side, Lille, his form hit a superlative dimesion.

At the weekend, he grabbed his 10th league goal of the season and his first away from home.

His current form has seen Chelsea, Jose Mourinho’s Spurs and Liverpool showing interests in him as the January Transfer Window beckons.

He is at the moment the lead scorer for the Super Eagles since the close of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. He has scored five goals for the team since taking over from Odion Ighalo in the centre forward position.

The CAF Award Ceremony will hold in three weeks time at the Albatros Citadel Sahl Hasheesh, Hurghada, Egypt.

 

 

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