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20-year old Moses Simon is one of Nigeria’s brightest prospects and is expected to become an integral member of the Super Eagles sooner rather than later. He has already won his first cap, in a 0-1 loss to Uganda in Uyo last March and is expected to feature regularly in Sunday Oliseh’s plans.
Name: Moses Ajala Simon
Position: Right & Left forward/Second striker
Club: KAA Gent
Blessed with bursting speed, good close control and a perfect first touch, Simon looks the real deal. Still only 20, the youngster keeps proving why he is so highly rated and was instrumental in Gent winning their first ever Belgian Jupiler league title last season. Considering he only joined the club from Trencin of Slovakia last January, the youngster has sure made an impression.
Simon is called ‘The Nigerian Ronaldo’, in reference to his similar playing style to that of the Real Madrid and Portuguese superstar. He’s quick off the mark, packs a powerful shot and despite being a natural right-footer, he is extremely comfortable with the ball on his left.
Also, despite not being pure center forward, he is however a consistent goal scorer, as he averages 0.4 goals per game.
Being able to play in a variety of attacking positions means he gives several attacking options to his teams. He once said in an interview about his versatility that “I’m not fussy about where I play, I’ll just do the best I can in any position.”
Besides being a tricky player to face, Simon offers much more than trickery to his teams, as his stats have proven. In 60 games, the 20-year old has scored 24 times, and assisted 14 times. To even make it more impressive, he scored six goals in nine games for Gent last season, an average of two goals per game. He also had four assists during that spell.
Simon’s first foray to Europe was with Ajax Amsterdam of Holland, but he didn’t sign a professional contract with them despite scoring two goals in two pre-season games. That notwithstanding, he has constantly been linked with moves away from Belgium.
He has recently been linked with English clubs, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as Turkish giants, Fenerbahce.
“I can’t thank God enough for the type of year I’ve had regarding my career. I was over the moon to make my debut (for Nigeria). Hopefully there are better things to come. It’s been a great start for me in Belgium and to get selected for the games was massive,” he told sl10.ng in March, 2015.
Written by Chris Oguguo
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisOguguo
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