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Spotlighting the Good Works of 20-year-Old Henry Onyekuru


A player must have an eye-catching knack to be handed the number 9 jersey upon arrival at a team, though it’s being occupied by another player. Interestingly, Nigeria’s Henry Onyekuru is one of those players with such stunning talent.

Onyekuru, 20, is currently wearing the number 9 jersey at Belgium’s most successful football club, Anderlecht. Nick named Purple & White, Anderlecht have won five European trophies, and a record 34 Belgian championship wins.

The 20-year-old striker was handed the number upon his arrival at the club on a loan deal form Everton and has continued to perform to expectation. He is currently the joint top goal scorer (scored 9 goals from 17 appearances) with Sweden’s and Waasland-Beveren’s Isaac Thelin who is also on loan from Anderlecht.

Onyekuru is the fourth African and second Nigerian to wear the number 9 jersey for the Belgian club.

Onyekuru, born in Nigeria on June 5, 1997, began his football career in 2010 at the Aspire Academy in Qatar. Aspire Academy is a sports academy founded in 2004 with the goal to scout and help develop Qatari athletes, whilst also providing them with secondary school education. It develops athletes from various sports. Current World Indoor Championship title holder in High Jump, Mutaz Essa Barshim is a graduate of the academy, as Onyekuru is also one of many graduates.

Onyekuru graduated from the academy in 2015 and joined the academy’s partner club K.A.S Eupen, also a Belgian First Division A club. Sadly, they are seated at the bottom of the ongoing league season.

The 20-year-old made his debut for Eupen on September 5, 2015and helped the club get promotion to the Belgium First Division A league. In 2016, his debut season in the first division league, Onyekuru finished the season as a joint to-scorer with 22 goals, but the award was handed to current teammate Łukasz Teodorczyk of Anderlecht as he scored more away goals than Onyekuru. During his spell at Eupen, the Nigerian forward scored 28 goals from 57 appearances.

Eventually in 2017, his eye-catching performance caught the attention of premier league club Everton and the Nigerian national team. On June 30, 2017, the Nigerian forward joined the Merseyside club for £7 million and was immediately sent on lone to Anderlecht. He won his first professional trophy; the Belgium Super Cup in July of this year after Anderlecht came from a goal down to see off holders Zulte-Waregem 2-1.

Earlier before joining Everton, Onyekuru was called up for the Super Eagles camp in May 2017 and made his senior debut for Nigeria in a 3–0 friendly win over Togo on 1 June 2017.

Anderlecht are currently seated in the 3rd position on the league table and Onyekuru is the top scorer with 9 goals.


Featured Image: Getty

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