Terem Moffi: can his exploits in France open Super Eagles doors?
How must it be to be in Victor Osimhen's Super Eagles boots with no endless number of strikers emerging by day ready, willing and potentially able to snatch the automatic Nigeria starting position from the Napoli man.
This week, as reported by various Nigerian media outlets, Lorient's Super Eagles hopeful Terem Moffi was named in the Ligue A team of the month having banked himself a cool 6 goals across just 4 games in just 21 days in April to underscore his rising reputation as one of the deadliest assassins in the French league.
And with that sort of ruthlessness, Osimhen better watch his shoulders. But if Terem Moffi is a snake then Osimhen is prepared to be a mongoose that is ready to fight off and overcome all contenders to his much coveted Super Eagles starting 11 boots.
After a crisis-ridden start to his career in Italy, the 2015 under 17 world cup gold medallist is starting to plant his feet firmly on the ground and store his shots in the back of nets. In the same month that Moffi moved mountains in France, Osimhen also sent his own shock waves with 4 goals and 1 assist across 6 games in the more arduous Serie A - no greater indications need be sought of his intentions to stamp his authority in Italy and cement his position in Nigeria.
But isn't it even disrespectful to suggest that Moffi is throwing down the gauntlet to Osimhen, after all, there are still at least 3 other strikers for him to claw over before catching a glimpse of Osimhen's shadow.
Senior man from a more senior league Iheanacho deposited 4 goals in the Premier League bank across 5 games in the same April while writing a cheque of 2 assists in the process. As for Paul Onuachu, that one is a bank robber in Belgium with all the Sheriffs of the other teams placing a bounty on his head. And do you blame them? It is truly criminal to have held defenders at goals-point before stealing away with 4 goals from 3 games in April (letting Moffi know that even featuring in the same team of the month as Mbappe might not be enough to qualify him for a Super Eagles credit card).
And with the likes of Sadiq Umar, Simy Nwankwo and Ike Agbo all making goals deposits in their respective league-banks, all Terem Moffi can do is exactly what he is doing: scoring goals, posting barnstorming performances and attracting multiple individual accolades.
But in this climate, even these aren't enough to attract Super Eagles invitation because now, it is not a case of who to invite, rather a case of who to drop.
The strikers in Rohr's current squad haven't made any case for them to be tossed overboard. Rather, they all seem to be going from strength to strength.
But, after June, they will all be on a sort of level playing field because it will be a new season across Europe for them to continue from where they left off. Their respective forms between September and November/early December 2021 will go a long way in determining which of them would have done enough to be considered for the Afcon tournament in January.
On another day, Moffi's recent accomplishments would have knocked all other Super Eagles rivals into a cocked hat. Not this time. He is celebrated for what he is doing while Osimhen and others are holding on to their Super Eagles hats with their own statements of intent.
It is now to see which of them will continue to make this statement well into the immediate future.
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