One name that remained constant in all of Owngoalnigeria.com top performers for the Nigeria U17 team during the recently concluded WAFU B Africa U17 Cup of Nations Qualifiers tournament was Samson Tijani.
The defensive midfielder was named as captain after the main captain Sani Abacha failed the MRI test, 48 hours to the start of the tournament which was won by Nigeria following their 3-1 win on penalties over Ghana in the final after a 1-1 draw in regulation time.
Tijani came to the fore during the Zenith U-15 national tournament two years ago organised by the Nigeria Football Federation ( NFF) as he won as many as four man of the match awards while representing Colins Edwin Football Club of Lagos.
Nicknamed Borga, the coach of the Nigerian team Manu Garba made him captain for obvious reasons as he his leadership qualities on and off the pitch shone all through during their screening and subsequent camping ahead of the start of the tournament.
During the tournament he was the driving force of the Nigerian team due to his ability to screen the defence and also act as a link to the attack with his box to box play and his inch perfect ball distribution abilities.
His success with tackles also made him stand out and as the deepest of Nigeria’s midfield three during the tournament he bossed game from deep with his passes doing damages upfront.
Named as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament, his next career move will go a long way in helping him fulfill the tag of the next big thing to happen to Nigerian football.
Already interests have poured in from several quarters but the 16 year old will do well not to jump at any offer for the main time with the African U17 Championship set to come up in May next year.