Belgian clubs bank on more Nigerian strikers to get the goals

Tosin Dosunmu and Joseph Akpala have been crowned Goal Kings in Belgium and in recent years Henry Onyekuru and Victor Osimhen have weighed in with goals to continue to fly the Nigerian flag high there.

For the new season, there will be no fewer than nine strikers with a Nigerian connection who will be shooting for glory in one of the most interesting leagues in Europe.

We take a look at these sharp shooters and what to expect of them –

Cyriel Dessers (Genk)

A lot is expected of the 25-year-old striker on his return to Belgium after he finished as top scorer in neigbouring Holland this past season.

He got off a great start by netting the winning goal for hometown club KRC Genk on the opening day of the season.

He will need to be more clinical in front of goal to repeat the feat he achieved in Holland and it will be interesting to see how he will cope with the pressure of having cost Genk four million Euros.

David Okereke (Club Brugge)

He celebrated his first season in Belgium as a champion, but he has continued to be derided by critics who question why Club Brugge splashed a record eight million Euros to snap him from Italian club Spezia.

He got off to a flying start last season with a handful of goals, but this season he has yet to start for the champions.

He scored nine goals in the league last season and his quality has never been in doubt, but he faces a very stern test of character how he now responds to the lack of confidence being shown to him this term.

Okereke could still bounce back to shame his growing number of doubters.

Paul Onuachu (Genk)

He finished as the leading scorer at Genk with nine goals in his debut season in Belgium with Genk after his arrival from Denmark.

He came off the bench to inspire his club fight back at Zulte Waregem on the opening day of the new season with a goal and also caused the penalty which was scored to record a win on the road.

His preparation for the new season was chaotic after he tested positive for Coronavirus, but he has since recovered.

He himself has admitted he is not yet 100% physically, but should he be fully fit and his team overcome an indifferent start to the new season, he will be one man to count on for goals.

He could probably be the latest Nigeria star to finish as Goal King in Belgium.

Stephen Odey (Genk)

These are most certainly not the best of times for the former MFM FC striker as he has been left out by Genk from the match day squads at the start of the season.

He cost Genk a little fortune when he moved from Swiss side FC Zurich last season, but it appears he has not enjoyed a decent run in Belgium.

Patience is usually in short supply at this level of the game and what would be expected is that Odey considers at least a loan move to get more playing time and regain his self-belief.

Terem Moffi (KV Kortrijk)

He scored his first goal of the new season in his team’s second game and looks set to carry on from where he left off last season, when he scored four goals in seven league appearances on arrival in January.

Moffi has already shown he can score goals after he fired 20 goals last year in Lithuania.

He will now need to prove he can also do so in a bigger league like that in Belgium.

The big worry for the young striker is how he can cope with the speculations about his future as several clubs bigger than KV Kortrijk are interested in signing him.

Blessing Eleke (Beerschot)

Beerschot believe they got a great deal when they signed the experienced centre-forward from Swiss side Lucern for 1.5 million Euros.

He has already shown he knows his way to goal in Slovenia, Israel and Switzerland.

The second division champions have now presented him with a massive chance to fulfill the promise he has shown all these years.

He has the club’s former great, Tosin Dosunmu, as a strikers’ trainer at the club to help him achieve his full potential.

Ike Ugbo (Cercle Brugge)

Perennial relegation battlers Cercle Brugge did a good piece of transfer business when they signed the striker on loan from Chelsea.

The former England U17 star scored goals in Holland last season also on loan from Chelsea.

He will put himself on the shop window by scoring goals for this modest Belgian club, who have the option to buy him on a permanent basis at the end of the season.

It will be interesting to see how he fares in a new league, which is considered more physical than that of Holland.

Jordan Kadiri (Lommel SK)

He has been a proven goal scorer and Lommel SK will be a great platform for the young striker to again strut his stuff.

Swedish club Ostersunds FK were a first stepping stone and Kadiri did not disappoint.

Lommel are owned by the City Football Group, which also owns several top clubs like Manchester City, and this striker could use this opportunity to take his career to yet another level.

Lukas Nmecha (Anderlecht)

Anderlecht have signed the Manchester City striker on loan with no option to buy.

He is already a Germany U21 international as he was born there, but he is also eligible to play for Nigeria through his father.

Anderlecht finished a disappointing eighth last season and will now be counting on the goals of Nmecha to lift them to where they rightly belong in the new campaign.