ENGLISH Premier league side Arsenal are among the European clubs eyeing Golden Eaglets striking sensation Akinkunmi Amoo following his dazzling performance at the U17 African Cup of Nations yesterday where Nigeria beat hosts Tanzania 5-4 in the opening game.
After the topsy-turvy high scoring game, Amoo, who wears the number 13 shirt and is fondly called Little Messi, was voted Man of the Match. He was handed his award after the game by Total who are sponsoring the tournament and the Confederation of African Football (Caf) tweeted a congratulatory message to him.
Akinkunmi took the accolade ahead of teammate and Giant Brillers FC striker Wisdom Ubani, who scored either side of half-time, and Tanzania’s U-17s golden boy Kevin John. During his scintillating display, Akinkunmi had a hand in all the three goals scored by the five-time world champions in the first half.
While fellow Golden Eaglet player Olatomi Olaniyan pounced on a rebounded shot from the Number 13 to open the scoring in the 21st minute, Wisdom Ubani benefited from his assist when he restored the lead on the half-hour mark. Eight minutes before half-time, Akinkunmi showed off his skills, beat the goalkeeper and tapped the ball into an empty net.
He was replaced by Divine Nwachukwu in second-half injury time with the outcome of the game all but decided. Akinkunmi is one of the Golden Eaglets trio who had attracted the attention of European football clubs, including skipper Samson Tijani and Olatomi Alfred Olaniyan,
In addition to Arsenal, Ajax Amsterdam and RSC Anderlecht are some of the clubs monitoring the performances of Akinkunmi and those of his fellow rising stars Samson Tijani, and Olatomi Olaniyan. These European clubs cannot sign them, however, into they attain the age of majority.