Coach Paul Aigbogun has completely overhauled his strike force for the U20 World Cup after the Flying Eagles struggled in front of goal at the U20 AFCON in Niger recently.
The Nigeria U20s could only manage four goals in five matches in Niger causing Pascal Durugbor, Nazifi Yahaya and Aliyu Bravo to all be axed for the World Cup.
In their place now are Sogndal star Jerome Akor, who featured at the U20 AFCON qualifiers before he left for Norway; Sweden-based Henry Offiah, Tijani Mohammed from Czech club Ostrava as well as Emeka Chinonso, who is based in England.
All but Chinonso have scored in warm-up games leading up to Poland 2019.
Coach Aigbogun has often favoured lining up a big target man and that explains his choice of Akor (1.84 metres), Tijani Mohammed (1.89m) and Chinonso (1.89m).
In the build-up to the World Cup, the coach has combined Akor with Offiah, while Mohammed and Chinonso have been paired in a twin-tower strike force to bully whatever defence in front of them.
Akor, 19, has already worked his way to the first team of his Norwegian club after his heroics last year in the Norway Youth Cup, which Sogndal won for the very first time in their history.
The former Jamba Academy of Kaduna star is a big, powerfully-built centre-forward with a good shot who could also operate from the flanks.
Offiah, who is listed by his Swedish club IK Sirius as an attacking midfielder, has been in Sweden since last year.
He is a stocky with a robust style and a good dribble, making him the most technical striker on the squad.
His time in Europe bodes well for the Flying Eagles.
Former 36 Lion of Lagos ace Tijani Mohammed moved to Banik Ostrava in the Czech Republic early this year and has since been featuring in his club’s ‘B’ team.
He is physically imposing and loves a battle.
Chinonso is very similar to Tijani – the classic big striker who makes use of his imposing size and raw power to the discomfort of his markers.
These strikers will now get quality service from midfield and the wings for them to get the Junior Eagles to fly high in Poland beginning with their opening game on Friday evening.