The hottest property in the Nigerian Professional football League (NPFL) right now is none other than red-hot striking sensation Junior Lokosa.
Junior Lokosa has been in Sensational form for Kano Pillars this Season netting 18 goals in 20 matches.
Lokosa’s enviable record is what elite strikers in the world like C Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Edison Cavani, Lewandowski and the likes take pride in.
His 18 goals contribution for Kano Pillars has earned him a place in Gernot Rohr’s 30 man Shorlist for the Super Eagles in view of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Gernot Rohr the Super Eagles coach is not one known to have preference for home based players and Lokosa needs not look further than how long it took Stephen Oddey with all his heroics in the previous NPFL Season to get an invite by Rohr.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria did qualify for the 2018 World Cup in style, but one area that has been of great concern to the fans and pundits alike is the striking department.
The lot fell on Odion Ighalo and Kelechi Iheanacho largely to find the goals for the Super Eagles of Nigeria during the quaiifiers.
Ighalo & Iheancho did try, but for Nigeria to get out of a tricky World Cup group that has Croatia, Iceland and Argentina, Nigeria needs to more than try, the Super Eagles need a spark.
That Spark needed is none other than Junior Lokosa
The enviable rise of Lokosa.
Lokosa scored five goals when he came on board till the end of the season for Kano Pillars.
He has dislodged the likes of Gambo Mohammed, Rabiu Ali and Nwagua Nyima who were in the spotlight last term for Kano Pillars.
Has he scored against the big boys?
He has scored against the likes of big spenders Ifeanyi Ubah FC, former NPFL Champions Enugu Rangers, Enyimba, the only Nigerian team left on the Continent, MFM and Rivers United.
Junior Lokosa, is the first player to score 14 goals in just the first round of the Season.
A striker would always be judged by number of goals scored.
Going into the World Cup in June, the name Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain will be much feared because of the number of goals they scored in the 2017/2018 Season for Barcelona and Juventus respectively.
All eyes will be firmly on Mohammed Salah at the 2018 World Cup because of the 44 goals he has scored for Liverpool in all competitions.
Salah’s form going to the World Cup lifts Egypt’s status at the mundial, and his name will strike fear into opponents.
The basic duty of a striker is putting the ball into the back of the net and club form matters a lot for every player going into the World Cup in Russia.
The case of having not played with the rest of the squad should be of little concern for Lokosa doubters.
The Super Eagles have friendlies before Gernot Rohr would name his 23 man squad and a striker cannot be compared to a defender.
The understanding a defender needs when joining a new team is higher than what a striker needs when playing for a new Side.
All a striker needs is a good midfield that can supply the passes which the Super Eagles have in the Likes of John Mike Obi and Alex Iwobi.
A striker also needs confidence in himself and good footwork when it comes to handling the pressure upfront alone. Junior Lokosa has this.
No Super Eagles striker at the moment stands head and shoulder above the rest.
That expains the reason why every Tom Dick & Harry has been considered for the Super Eagles striking department and the Likes of Brown Ideye, Henry Onyekuru, Emmanuel Emenike & Eduok have all gone into oblivion.
Ighalo is not prolific & not quick, and now plies his trade in China, Kelechi Iheanacho was a bench warmer for Leicester City for most part of the Season.
Lokosa stands a great chance against Ahmed Musa, Moses Simon & Simeon Nwankwo.
Lokosa is the first ever player to score in six consecutives league games in the NPFL.
Lokosa needs only 50% efficiency in the second half of the season based on what he has done so far, & he would become the most prolific player ever in the history of the Nigerian league.
Lokosa had a debut to remember for Pillars, scoring in the match against Niger Tornadoes. He is the complete package at 24 years old.
Junior Lokosa gives the Super Eagles dynamics and for once, Lokosa making the 23 man shortlist is not about sympathy for home-based players, but about talent, skill, ability and form, somebody take Junior Lokosa to the World Cup.