By Monsurah Olatunji
Nigeria defender Calvin Bassey has showered praises on his teammate Ademola Lookman for his fine contributions as the Super Eagles gear up for their Africa Cup of Nations semifinal against South Africa on Wednesday.
The Super Eagles have scored six goals so far in this tournament and Lookman has been involved in four goals. The 26-year-old has been putting up a scintillating display at Afcon, with three goals and one assist in five matches so far.
The Atalanta forward scored the only goal that helped the Super Eagles record a deserved 1-0 win over the Angolans in the quarter-final of the tournament.
The 24-year-old Fulham star described Lookman as “sharp” and “tricky” while labeling him as the Super Eagles’ “star boy” at the ongoing 2023 AFCON.
“Mola’s sharp, man. He is the star boy,” Bassey told The Athletic.
“He is a baller, but take away his goals and look at the work rate. He tracks back, same as all of our attackers, and that’s the foundation that sets him apart from other players on different teams.
“I’ve been lucky we’ve been on the same team (in training). He’s hard, he is tricky. He is not going to let you go easy. It’s a good challenge. It keeps me and all of us on our toes.”
The former Everton forward became the fourth Nigerian to have scored three or more goals in the knockout stages of a single AFCON edition after Odion Ighalo in 2019, Austin Okocha in 2004, and Rashidi Yekini in 1994.