Striker Jerome Akor was very clear and focused when he told SCORENigeria he hopes his goals in the French Ligue 1 will earn him a chance with the Super Eagles leading up to the AFCON in January.
On Sunday, he grabbed his third brace of the season in France to take his impressive tally to seven goals with only Kylian Mbappe of PSG ahead of him on the goals chart.
It will also be noted that before his transfer from Lillestrom, he was also the leading scorer in Norway with 15 goals, which means this season he has scored a combined total of 22 goals.
Super Eagles forward was the match winner as Red Star Belgrade won on the road to maintain pressure on Serbian league leaders and city rivals Partizan. Olayinka followed up his goal from the previous week 3-2 home win over Javor. He has now netted five goals in the league this season. Will he do enough in the coming weeks to be reconsidered for his second AFCON?
The striker got the monkey off his back when he scored in the UEFA Conference Europa League for Gent to smash past their Icelandic opponents. It was his first goal since August to give hope he has not lost his cutting edge after a big-money transfer away from Belgium did not happen. A lot is now expected of him going forward as his club battle to reclaim the Belgian league title almost nine years since their last conquest. They are now five points adrift of leaders Union St.Gilloise after 12 rounds of matches.
The midfielder is back on Antwerp starting XI after his sweet goal against FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League Thursday. He owes his return to injury to direct rival Mandela Keita and it is left to him to make the most of this opportunity. His first Champions League strike has already attracted interest from Porto and a January exit from Antwerp cannot be ruled out as he is not guaranteed regular first-team football when Keita bounces back from injury.
He scored his second goal in his favourite competition – the UEFA Europa League – in the week under review. It came on the day he was presented with top scorer of the same competition for last season. He has continued to enjoy his football as Bayer Leverkusen have continued to win in the Bundesliga to hold off the challenge of champions Bayern Munich.
He was the stand-out Nigeria star of this past week after he fired his third brace for Montpellier to outscore Toulouse in a Derby and climb to 10th place on the Ligue 1 table. He was scored 8/10 by the influential L’Equipe newspaper. He has now banged seven goals in nine matches since his summer transfer from Norway. He has already represented Nigeria through the Flying Eagles and has made it known he is angling for his full international debut. He is deadly inside the box, knows his way to goal, has a good hold-up play and his aerial prowess horned playing in Norway for the past five years make him another interesting option in attack for the Super Eagles. Coach Jose Peseiro is mindful of the fact that he is spoilt for choice in attack and so he has now resorted to a 4-4-2 formation. In the absence of the injured Victor Osimhen, Akor deserves his chance for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho and Zimbabwe in mid-November.