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Why is Paul Onuachu an enigma in the Super Eagles despite being deadly for Genk?

Super Eagles enigmatic center forward Paul Onuachu continues to confound critics with his ruthlessness in finding the back of the net in the Belgian league. His latest, a 41 minutes goal which was not enough to give his Genk victory against Kortrijk as the match ended 2:1 in favour of the hosts.

But, that goal took Onuachu’s tally to a Hollywood type 19 goals in 19 games. At any level of football, scoring this amount of goals in same number of games is simply and utterly astonishing!

The gripe for a number of Nigeria fans is that he doesn’t seem to replicate this sort of form for the Super Eagles leading to the conclusion (in some quarters) that Onuachu is either a 1 season wonder or he can only perform in average or even mediocre leagues.


In February 2016, Onuachu scored a scintillating goal from just outside the 18 yard box against mighty Manchester United in the Europa League. The usually critical English media lauded Onuachu’s performance with Talksports writing: “Onuachu – who stands at 6ft 7in – came on after the hour mark and within seconds had forced Romero into another fantastic save from his towering header. But on 77 minutes the Nigerian striker fired into the back of the net.”

Against Liverpool in the 2019 UEFA Champions League, the feedback of Onuachu’s performance was even more glittering. Encouraging Jurgen Klopp to sign Onuachu, wrote:

“Genk’s Paul Onuachu, valued at just £5.4m by Transfermarkt, is the type of plan B Liverpool need. The 6 foot 7 inch Nigerian striker demonstrated strength, attacking intelligence and – the best cliche of them all – a great touch for a big man.

Most importantly, Onuachu won aerial duels and held up the ball – with more deadly strikers around him, he could be leading target man."

These are professional and paid Pundits: those who monitor and write about players’ performances religiously.

So, in Onuachu, we have a Centre Forward who has won critical acclaim in the Belgian and Danish leagues and in the prestigious Europa and UEFA Champions League competitions.

Yet, the national team’s management set up struggles to find a way of harnessing Onuachu’s huge potentials for the Super Eagles.

I just find it strange.

Surely, if Onuachu can have astonishing impacts across high calibre competitions in European football, surely there should be a way of unlocking his huge potentials for the Super Eagles. It is just about setting up the the team to take advantage of his strengths which would guarantee the goals from Onuachu's boots for Nigeria.

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