George Ilenikhena, 17, follows Romelu Lukaku’s teenage sensation impact in the Belgium Pro League.
Nigeria’s striker talent line continues to churn out exceptional quality as 17-year-old forward George Ilenikhena emulates the Belgian Pro League record held by Roma forward Romelu Lukaku.
The Lagos-born striker plays for Pro League champions Royal Antwerp alongside compatriots Chidera Ejuke and Alhassan Yusuf, and like Nigerians before him have done—Paul Onuachu and Gift Orban in recent years—the youngster is setting the league alight with goals.
Ilenikhena joined Antwerp this summer from French side Amiens, and if his recent form is anything to go by, he is already proving to be an excellent acquisition.
The striker needed time to acclimatise, but he seems to have settled in, scoring in a second consecutive game in the defeat to Club Brugge a week after opening his account for the club in the loss at Osimhen’s old club Charleroi.
In scoring in consecutive games at such a young age (17 years and 74 days), Ilenikhena follows in the footsteps of one of the best strikers in the world, Lukaku (16y 312d), who was the last player younger than him to score in consecutive Belgian Pro League games, according to OptaJohan.
Ilenikhena eligible for France and Super Eagles
Ilenikhena is eligible for France as well, thus Nigeria might lose out on him. Nevertheless, with the glut of forward options on Jose Peseiro’s roster and more on the waiting list, the Super Eagles are unlikely to lose any sleep over this.
Though born in Lagos, Nigeria, the striker moved to France at the tender age of three and received his football education in French academies.
His talent has also not gone unnoticed by the FFF, as he has received a call-up for the French U-16 side alongside the likes of PSG’s Warren Zaire-Emery, but is yet to register an appearance, per TransferMarkt.