Joan Francesc Ferrer Sicilia tips Nigerian star to break last season’s number

The former Real Betis coach is backing his Nigerian import to reach higher numbers this season following his brilliant performance last season

Almeria head coach Joan Francesc ‘Rubi’ Sicilia is convinced that prolific Nigerian forward Umar Sadiq is motivated to score more than the 20 goals he hit in his first year with the club.

Sadiq is the most brilliant and undoubtedly the most on-form Nigerian footballer in Spain at the moment, if not for the best part of the year.

Nigerian footballers have not had it great in Spain this season. Samuel Chukwueze, the only Super Eagles star in La Liga, is still recuperating from a lengthy injury that has stopped him from featuring for Villarreal this season.

Kenneth Omeruo is struggling with Leganes, Kelechi Nwakali is battling for more playing time at Huesca, and several others have not turned heads with their performances in the lower rungs of the Primera Division RFEF, Segunda Division RFEF, Tercera Division RFEF, and the Autonómicas.

Sadiq, though, continues to fly Nigeria’s green-and-white flag higher and brighter in Spain. The former AS Roma star netted for the sixth time in the Spanish La Liga Smartbank on Monday night in Almeria’s 2-1 win away to Girona to go clear at the top of the league’s goalscorer’s chart.

The 24-year-old striker found the back of the net in the 52nd minute to break the deadlock inside the Estadi Municipal de Montilivi.

Bernardo José Espinosa equalised for the hosts ten minutes later before Sadiq supplied the assist for Lucas Robertone’s winner in the 68th minute.

Six goals in eight games show Sadiq is firing more frequently than his debut campaign in Spain, which saw him score 20 goals in 40 league matches.

And his boss Rubi believes the Nigerian lad is poised to do better than last season.

“Sadiq has an enormous ambition to beat last year’s records,” Rubi said, as quoted by Diario De Almeria.

Despite his brilliant form, Sadiq is not one of the Nigerian stars invited by Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against the Central African Republic in the coming days.

The win at Girona sent Almeria top of the Segunda Division with 18 points from eight matches.

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