Could Christian Chinonso Obiozor be the next big Nigeria striker to take the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) by storm since Raphael Chukwu ‘Train’ did so in the late 90s?
The PSL is one of the top 10 richest football leagues in the world, but it remains something of a mystery that since the exploits of Ndukwe with Mamelodi Sundowns, the competition has not really attracted one of the many attacking riches Nigeria often produce.
Obiozor could probably solve this mystery now.
In May it was reported that African champions Mamelodi Sundowns were looking to sign the 22-year-old Enyimba striker
However, Orlando Pirates pulled ahead of their local rivals to earn the coveted signature of the highly rated striker this past week.
One of the giants of South Africa, the club, who placed 12th at the end of last campaign, will now hope Obiozor fires the goals for them to restore lost glory beginning from the new season.
Obiozor has already made his name in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) thanks to his menacing style, mobility and predatory instincts.
“I am really excited to be signing for Orlando Pirates Football Club,” Obiozor told Scorenigeria.com.ng
“I cannot wait to continue my development as a player and also perform at the highest level.
“My aim is to help Orlando Pirates be the best in South Africa and on the continent. I will give my all to help the club achieve success.”
Prince Orji Nnanna, a striker who played with Obiozor during their grassroots times at FAME Academy, congratulated him on the move.
“This is a well-deserved move for Obiozor. I thank God for the progress he had made in his chosen career. Congratulations to him and I pray he paints the whole of South Africa with goals,” the former Gombe United forward told Scorenigeria.com.ng
“Obiozor is a player who adapts quickly to any style of play. He understands the game perfectly and has quick feet. I wish him the best of luck at his new club.”
Pirates last lifted the PSL title in 2012. The signing of Obiozor is a big statement made by The Buccaneers to their rivals. After all, the former Enugu Rangers forward is one of the brightest young players in Nigeria and has proven he is capable of performing at this high level. He is a top-quality striker with huge potential.
There has been some excitement just bubbling beneath the surface about what the new season could bring. The club from Johannesburg have in their midst a fine collection of young players, a smattering of experience, some intriguing new signings and a handful of players capable of providing true brilliance.
Obiozor falls into several of those categories and despite being young, he played for the Super Eagles B side in the 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) incidentally staged in South Africa and scored a brilliant goal as Nigeria edged Zimbabwe 1-0 in the bronze medal match.
The lanky centre-forward has looked lively since linking up with Pirates, bobbing and weaving between the lines of attack, looking to thread a killer ball into the net.
His pace and skill coupled with his ability to view the game and its direction make him Pirates’ Messiah.
He can come deep to collect the ball and turn before showing his searing pace, or he can dart just outside the penalty area looking to find a connection to a pass or make a direct run. He can add impetus from both deep and advanced areas when perhaps other approaches are being negated.
He showed exactly this in clubs he had played for in the past, as he weighed in with assists and goals. He is very difficult to shrug off the ball and uses his size to his advantage.
His sublime skills are rare for a man of his height. He is difficult for defenders as he drags them all over the pitch. He can play on wings if needed, upfront or behind the front man.
“I have faced Obiozor a couple of times and know how tough it is to mark him off the ball. He is a tricky customer who won’t allow you rest for 90 minutes,” Akwa United central defender Emmanuel Ariwachukwu told Scorenigeria.com.ng
“It is the dream of every Nigerian professional to take his game abroad and I think South Africa is a good starting point for Obiozor. Pirates have made a good choice.”
Obiozor is a top-quality goal scorer, who should definitely make Pirates great again for he is capable of banging the goals for The Buccaneers and show the rest of South Africa Nigeria still produce strikers in the class of Raphael Chukwu.
Full Name: Chinonso Christian Obiozor
Date of Birth: 31 October 1994
Previous Clubs: Enugu Rangers , Kano Pillars , Enyimba
By Ademetan Abayomi