By Kelvin Ekerete
Fans have tipped Union Berlin striker, Taiwo Awoniyi, to be the direct replacement for the injured Victor Osimhen at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon next year.
The delayed AFCON is billed to hold from January 9 to February 6 but the Super Eagles will miss their star striker Osimhen who has been ruled out of action for at least three months due to a fractured cheekbone which was operated on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old sustained the injury after a collision with Inter defender Milan Skriniar in their 3-2 loss to the champions on Sunday.
The Napoli striker has been the first choice striker for the Eagles since the retirement of former Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo after the 2019 AFCON in Egypt where he played an understudy role.
With the striker out of the competition, fans believe in-form Union Berlin striker Awoniyi should get the nod to fill the spot ahead of Paul Onuachu, Terem Moffi, Emmanuel Dennis, Cyriel Dessers amongst others.
Reacting to the news fans have called on the Nigeria Football Federation and national team coach to make Awoniyi a top priority for the position ahead of returning Odion Ighalo and others.
“Taiwo Awoniyi should be brought in, he is clear of Ighalo,” Damilare Eluwole tweeted.
@TheKunle wrote, “Gutted for him (Osimhen). Nigeria needs to call Taiwo Awoniyi and Emmanuel Dennis.”
“Ighalo shouldn’t start ahead of Taiwo Awoniyi or Emmanuel Dennis. The pace of play will suffer…