March, 16 2023.
As Nigerians wait on for our seemingly confused Head Coach, José Peseiro to unveil his squad for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Guinea Bissau, there are strong indications pointing to the fact that the Portuguese is even more confused now, and is having an additional headache selecting his strikers.
While other Coaches have since announced their squads for the upcoming international break, Peseiro gave the impression that he was still studying out players.
While it would have been safe to conclude that names like Moses Simon, Ademola Lookman, Samuel Chukwueze and Victor Osimhen will make his yet to be released list, a certain 20 year old Man, Gift Orban may have a thing or two to say about that.
Since joining KAA Gent of Belgium from a Norwegian Division 2 side in January last year, Gift Orban has been in excellent goal scoring form.
Only on Saturday, he hauled in four goals as Gent trounced Zulte Waregem to brighten their prospects of making it to the Belgian Jupiler League playoffs. The haul made it nine goals in his last seven goals, yet there was more to come from Orban.
On Wednesday night, and right in the full glare of Europe, he strict a sensational 3 minutes hat trick, as Gent FC cruised to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Conference League, with a 5-2 aggregate smashing of Turkey's Istanbul Basaksehir.
The audacity and venom Orba belted in his second goal on the night, is still being talked about, as the world of football salutes this prospective Super Eagles striker, who has seven (7) superb field goals to his name in his last two games, over a period of three days.
Victor Osimhen has been Nigeria's most illustrious striker this term; and the SSC Napoli of Italy striker who ranks amongst the best both in Africa and in Europe, did not disappoint. He was again on the scorers' sheet on Wednesday night when Napoli defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, in the second leg of UEFA Champions league round of 16 game.
Osimhen who has been brilliant for the Serie A leaders this season opened the scoring at the stroke of the half time and slotted home his second goal of the game in the 53rd minute.
Since firing blank as Lazio end Napoli eight-match winning steak, Osimhen has been somewhat unplayable, but it was Piotr Zeilinski rounded off the scoring to seal a historic quarterfinals progression for Napoli, with a 5-0 aggregate.
In 28 games played this season, Osimhen has now scored 23 goals in total for Napoli so far this season- 19 in the Serie A and 4 in the Champions league.
It was also a special night for Osimhen as he has now scored 50 goals in his 90 appearances for Napoli, more so he is now the 2nf highest scorer in all of Europe, with 26 goals.
The ball is now fully in the Court of José Peseiro to pick from the lot, but Whatever names or players he settles on, should be good enough to restore confidence in his disjointed rebuild processes, as the Super Eagles has yet to win any of the six friendly matches he took charge of since replacing Austin Eguavoen in the saddle.
Nigeria will host the first leg at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on March 24; before traveling to Bissau for the reverse fixture, three days later.