Hungry Fenerbahce fullback Osayi-Samuel is Super Eagles' new shining lightPublished: March 29, 2023
Bright Osayi-Samuel was the standout player for the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the two-legged tie against Guinea-Bissau in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The Fenerbahce defender made his debut against Portugal last year and has been excellent since then.
Osayi-Samuel was full of energy and purpose over the two legs against Djurtus and his commitment exceeded that of his colleagues. He was defensively solid and was a good attacking outlet than the right.
In the first leg in Abuja, the 25-year-old made sure no one dribbled past him and his recovery pace was evident whenever Djurtus attacked the counter.
There was a particular incident in the game where there was a tussle with one of the Guinea-Bissau players while he was on the floor and yet his tenacity won him the tackle, the incident says a lot about his hunger and commitment.
Offensively, he showed great understanding with Samuel Chukwueze. He didn't hesitate to provide accurate forward passes to the Villareal winger whenever he ran down the channel.
In the second leg, the former Queens Park Rangers player picked up where he left ioff in the first leg and was responsible for winning the penalty that gave Nigeria the victory.
He was up against Jorginho but he stood his ground and made sure he contained the dangerous forward who had already scored 3 goals in the qualifying campaign.
Though not much was seen from him offensively in the second half, his bursting runs in the first half were a joy to watch and it was one of his surging runs that won Nigeria the penalty converted by Moses Simon.
However, I would like him to put more crosses into the box due to the aerial threats we have.
Ola Aina and Tyronne Ebuehi will be wondering how they can get back into the side with the consistency being shown by Osayi-Samuel.
If he keeps improving and showing this level of consistency, it is difficult to see anyone displace him.
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