Without a doubt, Victor Osimhen remains Nigeria’s number one frontman. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where the Napoli frontman doesn’t lead the line at the Africa Cup of Nations in a few months.
Taiwo Awoniyi vs Victor Osimhen: Who’s finishing better so far in 2021/22?
Both frontmen are being extolled to high heaven, thus prompting the pertinent question.
The Partenopei marksman has had a storming start to 2021/22 under Luciano Spalletti, netting five times in eight Serie A appearances. At this stage last season, despite playing well in general, he’d netted only two goals.
Despite the frontman’s seeming return to form, there’s an argument to be made that Taiwo Awoniyi is currently more dependable in front of goal.
Union Berlin’s in-form striker has netted seven times in the Bundesliga after nine appearances, contributing to half of the Iron Ones’ 13 league goals. Only three players — Robert Lewandowski (10), Erling Haaland (nine) and Patrick Schick (eight) have netted more goals than the frontman.
When you consider the quality of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen in contrast with Union, a chasm in superiority is evident.
Interestingly, a comparison with Osimhen presents interesting findings.
The Napoli marksman has attempted more shots (26-22) but has shot significantly fewer on target—9-12. 54.5 percent of Awoniyi’s shots have either tested or beaten the goalkeeper, with only 34.6 percent of Osimhen’s efforts within the width of the posts.
Their conversion rates also show the Union center-forward’s superiority over Nigeria’s top striker. Awoniyi’s 33 percent conversion significantly trumps Osimhen’s 19 percent, further emphasizing the former’s killer instinct so far in 21/22.
Having said that, a significant metric in this comparison — goals minus expected goals — demonstrates Awoniyi’s efficiency at the start of this season.
Union’s top scorer’s seven league strikes have come from 4.0xG, an overperformance of 3.0, whereas Osimhen’s 4.5xG has resulted in five strikes. For context, Awoniyi’s overperformance is the highest in the entire Bundesliga — and joint-sixth in Europe’s top five leagues — demonstrating his landslide victory over the Napoli man.
While Osimhen will probably get more plaudits, Awoniyi’s stock in Germany continues to rise and he’ll give Nigeria’s designated number nine a run for his money if he sustains the form that’s made him the Bundesliga’s deadliest marksman.
Seye Omidiora is a passionate football writer and pundit whose deep appreciation for the beautiful game exceeds the usual. He is currently a columnist for Goal Africa and has previously written for Vital Football UK, IBCity Info and Opera News.
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