We finish our profiles of Nigeria’s 21-man FIFA U20 World Cup squad by looking at the forwards that coach Paul Aigbogun has picked for Poland 2019.
Looking at the squad, it is clear that up front is where Nigeria have their strongest talent, and if the forwards are on form then the Flying Eagles can be a challenge for any nation.
With Aigbogun playing with a 4-3-3 formation in Poland, there are plenty of options for the former Warri Wolves and Enyimba tactician.
Who are Nigeria’s five attackers in Poland?
Success Makanjuola (Water FC, Nigeria)
The wild card in Flying Eagles squad, the Water FC star, is one of the biggest talents in the country, and could go on to be one of the stars in Poland.
A strong, direct winger, who also has a powerful shot. The petit forward can decide the outcome of a game.
Strength – Great dribbler with pace.
Weakness – Doesn’t score enough goals for the position he gets himself in.
Tijani Muhammed (FC Banik Ostrava, Czech Republic)
Tijani Muhammed heads to the World Cup in good form for the national team having netted two in the three friendlies.
On his day, Muhammed is one of the most lethal young strikers in the World, and if Nigeria is to progress through the group stages, the Banik Ostrava forward needs to be on form.
Strength – One of the best goalscorers at youth level. Very sharp and fast.
Weakness – Can often come too deep when playing needs to stay around the box.
Henry Offia (IK Sirius Uppsala, Sweden)
With Aigbogun’s 4-3-3 formation, it takes away the need for a deep-lying forward, so if Offia was to get a chance in Poland, it would be as a second striker, a position that would work well with his pace.
A useful player from the bench, could prove lethal if used against a tired defence.
Strength – Pace.
Weakness – Needs to be more clinical in front of goal.
Jerome Adams (Sogndal IL, Norway)
It’s often debated whether Jerome Akor is a better option up front rather than Tijani Muhammed
Akor is a deadly finisher in the box, with wingers in the side, he would receive the service into the box to make him effective.
He should be one of the names called by fans to turn things around.
Strength – Deadly finisher.
Weakness – He tends to be selfish with the ball.
Chinonso Emeka (Club Brookhouse, England)
The Brookhouse forward wasn’t involved in the qualifiers but he showed enough quality during the training camp.
A hard-working player, who can play through the middle or on the right wing.
There is an argument to be made that Chinonso’s place in the squad should have been given Adeshina Issa Gata, Nafizi Yahaya or Ibrahim Babawo.
Strength – A strong battler, who tries 100% in every game.
Weakness – Has no pace.
Nigeria’s first match in Poland is slated for Friday, 5pm Nigerian time.