Scoring striker wanted. RSC Anderlecht acted very defensively against the French FC Nantes, but on the other hand Sporting had great difficulty in scoring a goal. Many media suggest that an extra-scoring striker would not be an unnecessary luxury in the Lotto Park, but of course there must be enough financial space to gain reinforcement. According to Latvian media, Anderlecht is therefore aiming for Emmanuel Arokodare, a 19-year-old promising central striker. A rumor that was also confirmed by Het Nieuwsblad.
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF MOFFI
The Latvian Virsliga discovered a new sensation in 2019. Emmanuel ‘Tolu’ Arokodare, then made his professional debut at Valmiera FC and he originally caught the eye because of his tall stature of no less than 1 meter 91. But soon Latvia also became convinced about his footballing added value. In his first season, the Nigerian already scored seven goals plus two assists in sixteen league games, and this year Arokodare performed even better.
Instagram photo: tea99._
The current year of the Virsliga is now ten games away, and the African sensation could already score five times and he also gave two assists. Obviously, the Latvian league cannot be compared to the Jupiler Pro League, but as a 19-year-old Arokodare could already make his mark there. In addition, Terem Moffi also arrived at KV Kortrijk during the past winter marcato as the unknown striker of the modest Lithuanian FK Riteriai. And he played in the spotlight of… Anderlecht.
THE NEW OSIMHEN
However, apart from their Nigerian nationality and the origins of small leagues from North-Eastern Europe, Moffi and Arokodare have very little in common. The playing style of Arokodare corresponds much more with another friend from the Jupiler Pro League. Because of his shape and physical presence, the 19-year-old Nigerian is often compared to Victor Osimhen, who may make a bang transfer to Napoli after leaving Sporting Charleroi to Lille OSC. It is no coincidence that Arokodare maintains a good relationship with the current sensation of the Northern French club.
It is no coincidence that Anderlecht’s scouting sees potential in Arokodare’s qualities. In 2015, Sporting was already preparing to contract the real Osimhen after he became top scorer at the World Cup U17 with Nigeria, but then he chose an adventure with VfL Wolfsburg. Now the Purple & White scouting network is once again bumping into a similar profile to Osimhen, and such a type attacker has a good chance of succeeding in the Jupiler Pro League, and in the long run thus a lucrative transfer to a larger league. It seems pure win-win for Anderlecht.
Instagram photo: tea99._
In an interview with Nigerian The Nation, Arokodare elaborated on the comparison with Osimhen. “Certain people say that I am the new Osimhen, and I like that because it is one of the best strikers in the world. Our common qualities are mainly speed and strength in the aerial duels. He is a better finisher than me, but I hope that someday I will approach his level and maybe even exceed it. I think we do share the same quality by positioning ourselves well in the sixteen and striking at the right time. ”
In terms of profile, Arokodare fits in well with that of Osimhen, and such a type might well appeal to Anderlecht. In addition, the 19-year-old Nigerian will not have to cost too much money, because according to the specialized website Transfermarkt.de, the market value of Arokodare is barely 225 thousand euros. Anderlecht should not make a very big financial effort either, and the Purple & White accounts undoubtedly sound like music to the ears.
In addition, it is not very difficult for both parties to make contact with each other. Arokodare is represented by the management agency Matching Sport, which maintains close ties with the Belgian market. One of the largest clients of the real estate agency is namely Stephen Odey (KRC Genk) and – how could it be otherwise – until recently also Victor Osimhen, before he recently appointed a new business observer with William D’Avila.
ADDED VALUE IN SPORTS
It is a wrong approach to fully compare a 19-year-old but promising attacker from the Latvian Virsliga with a class bin like Victor Osimhen, but the basic qualities are already present at Arokodare. If we take a thorough look at his qualities, it can already be established that he is anything but a ‘lazy’ striker. Arokodare is not very fast, but largely due to his physical capabilities it is an almost impossible task to get him off the ball at full speed.
Instagram photo: tea99._
In addition, Arokodare rules in the Latvian airspace, making him the strongest striker in the Virsliga when it comes to the head duels. And there is certainly room for improvement in the Lotto Park, because Anderlecht was the second worst club last season – after Cercle Brugge – when it came to aerial duels. Arokodare also smoothly finds his way to the goal with 0.47 goal every 90 minutes, which means almost one goal every two games. With that average, he even scores more regularly than Kemar Roofe, who is still considered the number one in the Anderlecht attack.
In terms of pure efficiency for purpose, it will still be necessary to work with Arokodare. Because, as he himself explained to the Nigerian The Nation, there is still some room for improvement in its finish. This is also evident from the number of chances that Arokodare needs to score. On average, the tall attacker converts 15% of his attempts into a goal, which is a moderate average for a central striker. But over the years that can still seriously evolve, as Victor Osimhen proved, for example: during his first year at VfL Wolfsburg, his efficiency ratio was also a low 11%.
LIKE BADJI AT CLUB?
RSC Anderlecht currently has three attackers available, but none of them are currently at a top level. Landry Dimata suffers from an immense lack of competition rhythm after almost a year and a half without a match and effort, Antoine Colassin has just recovered from his ankle surgery and Kemar Roofe is slightly injured. The lack of an attacker in form was clearly noticeable in the exhibition match against Nantes, where Anderlecht did not score.
It seems logical to get a new striker, but it is also risky not to mortgage the development of Dimata and Colassin in particular. Attracting a young, promising and inexpensive attacker like Emmanuel Arokodare would, however, offer healthy prospects. Club Brugge also acted in this way by bringing in the young and unknown Youssouph Badji during the previous winter mercato. And look where the Senegalese now stands …
POLL: Does Anderlecht need an extra attacker?