As Super Eagles resume action for a place at AFCON 2021 finals, IKENWA NNABUOGOR wonders if Gernot Rohr will start his brand-new striker Cyriel Dessers ahead of Victor Osimhen…
Super Eagles have finally landed their target Holland-based striker Cyriel Dessers as they engage Sierra Leone in the AFCON 2021 double header against Sierra Leone with first leg holding in Asaba later this month.
Heracles Almelo top marksman Dessers is the top scorer in the Dutch Eredivisie with 15 goals and five assists.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had pursued the proven striker for some time now and finally got their wish with the invitation of the former Belgium youth player.
Dessers’ rich resume is most deserving of a call-up, but he will face a stiff competition from Lille striker Victor Osimhen for the top striker’s shirt.
Osimhen naturally stepped into retired Odion Ighalo’s shoes when the latter called his Eagles’ time immediately after the 2019 AFCON in Egypt and the former Golden Eaglets star has not disappointed in front of goal.
Smart money will definitely be on both strikers to lead the Eagles’ attack, but who gets the gaffer’s nod to start will be a top prerogative of the 63-year old Franco-German.
Dessers, top target for European top clubs notably Ajax, no doubt, has a lot on his plate going into this game, and that will include getting the nod ahead of Osimhen in the Eagles attack and playing on African soil for the first time.
Both scenarios could work against him, but that would solely depend on what Rohr wants.
Osimhen has done very well and for continuity sake, Rohr will be expected to start him.
Besides, should Rohr decide to bench him for the entire duration of the game for tactical reasons, his confidence of turning out for his mother’s country of birth could be seriously hurt.
What about starting the two strikers?
It’s not impossible, but then Rohr’s decision will fix this puzzle.
Dessers’ admirable numbers in front of goal have shot him to the top of the scorer’s chart in Holland and such feat would ordinarily put him in good stead for an expected debut in Asaba.
Apart from the regular fashion he sends keepers to retrieve the balls from the back of the net, his other attributes which include his speed and all round ability, make him a credible candidate for a long-awaited debut.
What about the competitive edge his inclusion will bring to Eagles’ attack?
Rohr will be happier for it, and that is all good for the country.
France-based Simon Moses, Samuel Chukwueze and Bordeaux winger Samuel Kalu complete the exciting attacking force Eagles will unleash on their less illustrious West Coast neighbours.
Dessers’ inclusion will also bring out the best in Osimhen as the Lille striker would not entertain losing his hard earned shirt to a new comer and all that will be good for the country.
A lot interesting headache it will be for Osmnhen should Dessers grab a goal or two on his debut.
Super Eagles will be the ultimate winner should that happen as this will come into play when other opponents come calling.
Welcome to the Super Eagles, Cyriel Kolawole Dessers!