Onuachu’s chances of staging a comeback to the Super Eagles are quite slim if certain pointers are to be taken into consideration.
Onuachu has been hitting the headlines recently after finding a rich vein of form in Turkey with neatly taken goals following his transfer from relegated Southampton.
Peseiro’s brand of football requires fluidity and flexibility from his centre forwards which Onuachu can’t always deliver. Peseiro invited 5 centre forwards to prosecute October’s friendlies: Boniface, Awoniyi, Iheanacho, Osihmen and Moffi. If push comes to shove, any of these 5 strikers can be shunted to wings. But playing Onuachu on the flanks is almost like trying to fly with a motorcycle.
In fact it is not a stretch of imagination for any of the 5 centre forwards could function as a further forward midfielder, something that Onuachu could struggle with.
So, as it appears (based on recently selected players) that Peseiro expects versatile from his centre forwards, Onuachu’s chances are limited.
Limited but not entirely impossible.
Onuachu remains a top quality center forward and support striker. If he taints the Turkish league with tantalising goals in the next 8 weeks, his chances of selection will be enhanced based on performance.
We already have ample wingers in the team and quite a number of centre forwards who can dovetail as wingers. So, Onuachu positioning himself as a ruthless out-and-out centre forward should not necessarily count against him if he comes to the team as a high achiever from club football.
According to owngoal.com, some Super Eagles fans should expect to be disappointed as coach Peseiro will be unable to tag all the strikers currently available to the Super Eagles along to the Afcon – there will inevitably be centre forward casualties.
Going to Ajax isn’t currently nursing Chuba Akpom’s Super Eagles chances to health. Josh Maja has been in the Super Eagles wilderness due to inclement club situation. Gift Orban is unsettled mentally whilst Dessers is not exactly lightening up Scottish League as expected. Umar is still trying to find his feet after recovering from long-term injury.If these 5 strikers continue to navigate stormy waters in the lead up to the Afcon and injury knocks out any of Awoniyi, Iheanacho, Boniface or Moffi, then Onuachu’s chances of selection will improve exponentially.
I am not worried, Onuachu can function as a decent striker with good service whilst being located within a well grounded tactical formation. He has scored 3 goals in Super Eagles colours and these were all fantastic.
But his critics will always point to his lack of pace and limited trickery on the ball as his irredeemable shortcomings. They are well entitled to their views but Onuachu will get a look in if he performs in Turkey and other options for Nigeria become unavailable.
If this happens, the beanpole strikers will stop at nothing to serve his critics humble pie peppered with bitter leaf.