Lorient’s last game of 2021 presents the Nigerian international with one more chance to put his name back in the discussion for strikers to represent the fatherland at the Afcon
Terem Moffi was Nigeria’s biggest star in the French Ligue 1 by some distance last season.
Signed by Lorient seemingly under the radar from Belgian side Kortrijk, the little-known Nigerian striker banged in 14 league goals and provided three assists to help Les Merlus survive their first season back in the top-flight.
The powerful forward began the 2021-22 league season where he left off last term, contributing two goals and two assists in his first five matches.
But the story has changed in Brittany as Moffi has suddenly become goal-shy, with the former Kauno Zalgiris striker failing to find the back of the net since September.
With their driving force losing steam, it is no surprise that Les Merlus are enduring a difficult time as well.
Christophe Pélissier’s men have lost each of their last eight matches, have not won a game in three months, and are just above basement club Saint-Etienne on the league table.
As if things cannot get any worse, title-hunting Paris Saint Germain come into town to face Lorient in a game week 19 clash today (Wednesday, December 22), in the last match of 2021.
The league leaders boast three of the world’s best players in Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Neymar Jr, who on any given day are practically unstoppable.
The former champions surrendered their league crown to Lille last season, but they have been almost untouchable this term.
PSG have won 14 of their 18 league games, losing just once, and hold a 13-point gap over second-place Marseille. However, Mauricio Pochettino’s men have played a game more.
PSG are clearly the favourites ahead of this matchup, but it is not easy to forget that Moffi lived one of his best moments in France in the same fixture last term.
The Calabar-born forward came off the bench to net a 91st-minute winner for Lorient in a 3-2 triumph over the Parisians at the Stade Yves Allainmat – Le Moustoir.
A similar outcome on Wednesday will not only lift the spirit of everyone associated with Lorient, but it could also position the striker back into the consciousness of the Super Eagles handlers.
If the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations tournament had been held last summer, Moffi would have made that squad with little difficulty. It was around that time that he earned his first international call-up and made his Super Eagles debut.
Fast forward four-five months, and Moffi is not even being mentioned when alternatives are being considered for the injured Victor Osimhen and Paul Onuachu.
Instead, Union Berlin’s goal-king Taiwo Awoniyi and Watford’s exciting attacker Emmanuel Dennis are the ones hoarding most of the attention of interim head coach Augustine Eguavoen.
A memorable, goalscoring performance against PSG can change all that for Moffi and remind those that matter of his unique qualities.
Moffi’s story – going from Lithuania to the French Ligue 1 and the national team in only four years – is already remarkable and something that should make anyone proud. But it can get even better with his first Afcon appearance.
Moffi has one last chance to push for a spot in the Super Eagles’ final 28-man squad for the 2021 Afcon. But can he seize it?