EPL Golden Boot : How It Panned Out & What It Could Mean For Nigeria At AFCON
Published: May 12, 2019
EPL Golden Boot : How It Panned Out & What It Could Mean For Nigeria At AFCONAfter the last round of games in the English Premier League on Sunday, May 12, Senegalese striker, Sadio Mane and his Liverpool teammate, Egyptian talisman, Mohamed Salah alongside Arsenal Gabonese hitman, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all finished on 22 league goals to share between them the Golden Boot award.

Mane scored twice for the title-chasing Reds who saw off Wolves 2-0 at Anfield while Aubameyang equally hit a brace for Arsenal in a 3-1 victory, with Salah who had earlier reached the 22-goal mark eight days ago in a win versus Newcastle completing the trio of Africans who distinguished themselves as goal getters in one of the most competitive football leagues.

Sadly, football fans will not get to see the Arsenal striker starring at the continental competition this summer with Gabon missing out, but Salah and Mane are primed to grace the tournament in Egypt.

These two players are well regarded as their team's key men and will surely come a handful for African defenders when the ball gets rolling and with Nigeria psyched up to deliver a fourth AFCON trophy this time, the presence of these deadly strikers will only mean one thing — the Super Eagles will have to contend with stopping them if they eventually size up against their countries at the tourney.

Egypt and Senegal are already tipped as favourites and judging by the way well-drilled Premier League sides crumbled at the sight and effervescence of the two, it's really hard deciphering how the AFCON participants will quell their danger.

Recently, Nigeria are a composed side when facing teams from this continent as they have lost just once (versus South Africa) since their manager, Gernot Rohr took over.

Evaluating how the Super Eagles strikers fared during the regular season with their clubs, Paul Onuachu has scored 16 times for FC Midtjylland in the Danish SuperLiga this term but is well beaten by Copenhagen's Robert Skov who has netted 27 goals.

Tanzania's Mbwana Samatta with 23 league goals for Genk in the Belgian First Division has outscored Sporting Chaleroi's Victor Osimhen who has 16 to his name.

And in the nine-game old Chinese Super League, Shanghai Shenhua's Odion Ighalo (seven) who is one of the most effective strikers for Rohr's team trail Guangzhou RF forward, Eran Zahavi by two goals.

Will the Super Eagles attackers be outperformed by these two Premier League sharpshooters in Egypt? The jury is well and truly out.

Emmanuel Chinaza

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