Will Peseiro finally unlock Onuachu for Super Eagles?


When you’re top scorer in one of Europe’s top tier leagues and consistently hit double figures, most people will argue that getting a spot in Nigeria’s team should come easy, well, not for Paul Onuachu.

At 28 years old, the clock, at least in International football, is quickly winding down for one of Nigeria’s prolific goal poachers in his generation.

From his latter days at Danish side FC Midtjylland, where he had won the league and Cup titles, the Forward proved he knew his way around the Opponent’s defensive third.

However, prowess came to the fore as he joined KRC Genk and it was in his second season that Onuachu caught the eyes and turned interests to attention & action back home.

He earned his first call up to the National team in 2019, but has only managed 16 official caps; he was often overlooked or left on the bench.

In the Super Eagles though his career has been quite topsy turvy. Managers have been given the rap for ignoring him when he was in such good scoring form at Genk, and the player has also received sticks for below par performances.

In fact, at one point former Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, responded to the calls, ‘You want him to be invited and you later ask why he’s invited. You have to pick what you want.’

Indeed the Player’s style – Box striker – isn’t quite popular in the national team where he must compete for places with Victor Osimhen, Terem Moffi, Cyriel Dessers, Umar Sadiq and Taiwo Awoniyi.

Paul Onuachu has scored only 3 international goals, the last one coming in March 2021. He has since played five times for Nigeria and overlooked fourteen times afterwards – twice he was on the bench.

Recently, the Forward has earned himself a recall to the NT, on the back of his impressive run for Genk in the Jupiler League.

Genk are top of the table and the Nigerian has scored 13 goals – 25 percent of their total goals scored – in 14 appearances, despite missing the first three weeks of the season.

It is his startling stats that yet poses the big question which current NT coach Jose Peseiro must answer – Can Onuachu deliver same for Nigeria?

What must Peseiro do to get this goal machine churning out such big numbers for Nigeria, who seem to struggle in front of goal when Osimhen is off?

The Super Eagles invitation, first since last November, means Onuachu returns to the NT after a year’s absence, but it’ll be interesting to see if the tactical shortcomings that may have impeded his game in the past can be sorted expediently under Peseiro.

Portugal are a big test and once again Victor Osimhen isn’t available. So, it opens the doors for others, including Paul Onuachu, to step up and much of that also will depend on Peseiro.


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