Rather than celebrate Paul Onuachu's remarkable feat of goal scoring accomplishments in Europe - having now scored an astonishing 19 goals in 19 games in the Belgian top flight - some Super Eagles supporters are using this opportunity to criticise his low goal scoring record for Nigeria.
Seriously, I don’t think this is the best time to criticize Paul Onuachu’s Super Eagles records.
He is doing Nigeria proud in European football and this is something to be celebrated, something every Nigerian should be proud of (and not diminish).
Scoring 19 goals out of 19 games in a top 10 league is sheer madness. Onuachu deserves all the attention and encomium coming his way.
As far as his performances for the Super Eagles, do you know that he has only played more than 45 minutes in just 3 Super Eagles matches. Out of those games, he scored 1 goal and put himself about in the others in a manner that stood him out as a competent team player.
In 5 out of his 8 caps for Nigeria thus far, Onuachu has played less than 25 minutes per match with 2 of these matches seeing him play a combined 7 minutes (2 minutes against Guinea and 5 minutes against Cameroon).
Sometimes, it seems as if Onuachu had been accorded 90 minutes per game across 20 games for the Super Eagles (based on how fans criticise him) !
In fact, Onuachu has never had the fortune of playing a whole 90 minutes for Nigeria in any of his 9 caps.
I don’t think Onuachu has been awful for Nigeria. I don’t think he has been phenomenal either. He is just finding his way. Perhaps slow and steady will help him in the long run for Nigeria.
There were times when legendary Yekini and Ighalo were not overly profilic for Nigeria before finding their way.
The Late Great Yekini scored only 1 goal in the 1988 Afcon whilst Ighalo become most profilic for Nigeria after the 2018 world cup.
If Onuachu can be effective in the Champions League and Europa League competitions and also in mainstream European leagues, that tells me that he sure knows how to find the back of the net.
And not that he has never scored for Nigeria: in 1 of the 3 games where he played more that 30 minutes for the Super Eagles, he scored a screamer against Egypt and gave good accounts of himself.
So, fans should celebrate Onuachu for the wonders he is performing in Europe and hope that one day, the conditions will be right for him to replicate such a form for the Super Eagles when called upon.
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