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At Last, In-form Striker Gift Orban Gets the Nod of Super Eagles Selectors

August, 31 2023.

KAA Gent FC of Belgium striker, Gift Orban has finally earned an invitation to the nation's senior men's national team, the Super Eagles, ahead of the upcoming 2023 Afcon qualifying game against Seleção dos Falcões e Papagaios of Sao Tome and Principe, on September 10, 2023, in Uyo.

Orban is ranked amongst the best finishers in their early twenties (20s) in Europe, and is known to be a potent and clinical goal scorer, both in the Belgian Jupiler League and in Europe.

Many who have followed his progression from the Norwegian League, where he played for a second division club Stabæk FC, before he was scouted by KAA Gent is seen by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) selectors, as a great addition to the Super Eagles striking force.

According to one of the NFF selectors, Orban's invitation to the Super Eagles is a testimony to the fact that, "no matter how long it may take, hard work will always be rewarded".

Orban had great returns of goals and assists last season and so far, in the 2023/24 campaign, he has scored six (6) goals in seven (7) games for Gent.

Four of the goals were in the Europa League qualifying, and the remaining two goals were netted in three Jupiler League games.

The Togo-born player is primed by the Super Eagles selectors to play a significant role, by being given a dream chance to make his Nigeria debut against Sao Tome and Principe on September 10.

Having already qualified for the 2023 Afcon tournament to be played in Côte d'Ivoire early next year, and with Coach José Peseiro and the NFF yet to agree a contract extension, the NFF selectors are believed to be planning to give either Victor Osimhen or Taiwo Awoniyi who is reported not to be 100%, some rest.

In either of the scenerio, it's also believed that Orban should be able to step-in and fill the void. But can the 21-year-old be able to replicate the form at Gent, when playing in the colours of the Super Eagles? This is a question only he (Orban) can answer. But first, he has to be given the selectors' nod, on September 10, in Uyo to stand a chance of proving his worth.

Orban has mixed parents, his mother is Togolese, but he is qualified to play for the Eagles through his Nigerian father, who hails from Benue State, reports.

He is the first player of KAA Gent FC to score a hat-trick in the 21st century, and all the goals in their 6-2 league victory, came in the second-half of their game against Zulte Warehem FC.

In his very next game for Gent on March 15, he scored a first-half hat-trick in 4–1 away win over İstanbul Başakşehir in the UEFA Europa Conference League round 16. The hat-trick was scored within 3 minutes and 25 seconds, setting a new record for the fastest hat-trick in UEFA club competitions history and breaking the previous record of six minutes and 12 seconds held by Liverpool's Mohammed Salah in the Champions League.

Not too long ago, precisely in May 2023, it was reported that Premier League giants; Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur were candidates to sign Orban this summer.

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