Former Nigerian internationals, Emmanuel Amuneke and Garba Lawal, have urged Nigerians not to compare latest Super Eagles’ scoring sensation, Victor Osimhen to late Rashidi Yekini who scored 37 goals in 58 appearances for the country.
Osimhen (who currently plays for Lille) honed his skill under Amuneke and emerged the highest goal scorer at the 2015 FIFA Under 17 World Cup in Chile, where he scored 10 goals, a record at that level.
Despite his earlier troubles, the Lille striker has become the Eagles number one striker.
He scored three goals and provided two assist in the AFCON qualifiers against Benin Republic and Lesotho, which prompted the comparison.
However, Amunike stated that it is too early to compare Osimhen to goal king, Yekini who scored Nigeria first World Cup goal at USA 1994.
“It will be too early to start comparing Osimhen with the late Rashid Yekini. He (Yekini) was a different player and he was someone who has done a lot for Nigeria.
“It is always good to see a youngster like Victor coming up and showing a bit of the quality that Yekini had but he still has a long way to go. He has to remain focused and I hope people around him would always give him the right advice.”
Amuneke stated that he is impressed with Osimhen’s work rate and expressed hope that he would continue to work hard and get to the pinnacle of his career.
“Osimhen’ story is that of survival but you can’t take away the fact that he has the hunger to succeed right from his days with us in the Under-17 and now to the Super Eagles. We hope he will continue to work hard and score many more goals for the Eagles in order to take Nigerian football to the same height we were during the time of Yekini,” the former Tanzania coach added.
For Lawal, Osimhen has a long way to go before he gets the privilege of being compared to Yekini, who he (Lawal) played with in the Eagles.
“He (Osimhen) has been scoring a lot of goals lately but I think it’s wrong to start comparing him with late Yekini. There is no striker that can be compared with ‘Gangling.’ Yekini was not called gangling for any reason than because of lethal finish. He did not give himself Gangling, so don’t let us start comparing Osimhen with Yekini.
“He has a long way to go as far as the late Yekini is concerned; he has to be consistent with his game and scoring ability and let us pray for him to have such consistency. This is Nigeria and people would criticise him if he doesn’t score in the next three matches (God forbid); so we should not compare him with the late Yekini so that we don’t give him too much pressure.”
Suspended Osimhen will not be in action today when his team takes on leaders PSG in Ligue One today. Lille currently occupies the 5th position with 19 points while PSG has 30 points.