Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has predicted a close contest between Lille OSC striker Victor Osimhen and Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze for the 2019 CAF Youth Player of the Year.
Both youngsters were nominated alongside three others – Achraf Hakimi (Morocco & Borussia Dortmund); Krépin Diatta (Senegal & Club Brugge); Moussa Djenepo (Mali & Southampton) – in the final shortlist ahead of the award gala to be hosted 7th January 2020 at the Albatros Citadel Sahl Hasheesh, Hurghada in Egypt.
Ahead of the award gala, Rohr says his two Super Eagles young guns have done well in the year under review and deserve to be crowned the best youngster on the continent.
“The two players (Osimhen and Chukwueze) deserve to win the award; they had a great season in Europe,” the German tactician stated.
Rohr was however coy on the chances of Shanghai Shenhua striker Odion Ighalo in the blue ribbon Africa Player of the Year in a strong field that has Liverpool’s duo of Senegalese Sadio Mane and Egyptian Mohamed Salah.
“Ighalo has already won the award of the best scorer (at the2019 AFCON in Egypt) and will give with pleasure the other one to one of the two big stars (Mane and Salah),” he said.
Meanwhile, Rohr has predicted a better 2019 for the Super Eagles and indeed Nigerian football, adding he was looking forward to the forthcoming draws for the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup with optimism.
“I hope that the coming year will be better,” the 66-year-old noted.
“For the (World Cup) draw, we will have the same philosophy like always; all the teams are well prepared and difficult to beat.”
The Africa zone second round of the preliminary competition for FIFA World Cup 2022 will take place on 21st January at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Cairo.