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AFCON 2021: Taiwo Awoniyi says ‘ready’ to lead Eagles’ attack

Union Berlin goal-poacher, Taiwo Awoniyi says he is prepared to lead Nigeria’s quest for a fourth Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title in Cameroon.

Awoniyi is favoured to lead the Super Eagles’ attack in the absence of Victor Osimhen and Odion Ighalo.

The Germany-based striker said he is ready to take up the responsibility and be the team’s main man in Cameroon.

“My strength is the power I put into my game, the fighting spirit in me, the willingness like you can always go as far as you want to go,” the 24-year-old forward told NFF TV.

“I think my strength is helping my teammates, and when I do all those dirty jobs and all those things, that is when my own finishing aspect will come into play,” he added.

Preparations for the AFCON, Africa’s most prestigious sports competition, have not been the best due to the failure of European clubs to release players on time.

But Awoniyi believes Nigeria, who won the tournament in 1980, 1994 and 2013, will still do well.

He said he did not agree with the submission of former Nigeria international, Julius Aghahowa, who had described the absence of  Ighalo and Osimhen as a “Big Blow” For the Eagles.

Before the players and officials departed for Cameroon last week, Osimhen, Emmanuel Dennis and Leon Balogun announced they were pulling out of the squad.

The Super Eagles, who are still considered one of the tournament favourites, are in Group D, based in Garoua, slated to play against Egypt, Sudan and Guinea.

Writing by Tony Okerafor