The Super Eagles missed both Victor Osimhen and Emmanuel Dennis at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, but they were able to call up replacements, which showed their squad depth.
Peter Olayinka was one of the players called up, and although he only had a little cameo before Nigeria’s exit, it was still a wonderful experience for him.
Olayinka has had quite a career and could be called a journeyman. He currently plays for Czech Republic champions Slavia Prague, but he has had quite a journey before joining the side.
The 26-year-old began his European journey with Bylis Ballsh in Albania, but he had to go through tough conditions.
He struggled to adapt to the weather conditions, and life was difficult financially, with the Super Eagles star earning just $100 monthly.
After leaving Ballsh, Olayinka joined Yenicami AK in North Cyprus. He spent a year at the club before returning to Albania, where he was the subject of a transfer war between two clubs.
This handed him a suspension, although he eventually signed for KF Skënderbeu. After another two years in Albania, Olayinka’s career path moved to Belgium in 2016, where he signed for Gent before going out on loan to Dukla Prague.
Following his loan stint at Dukla, he returned to Gent, who once again sent him out on loan, but to another Belgian side Zulte Waregem.
On the expiration of his loan stint with Zulte, he signed for Slavia Prague in 2018, and it’s at the Czech club he made a name for himself.
Olayinka settled in quickly at the club, scoring six times and providing three assists in 22 league games as Slavia finished as champions.
He could not build on his decent performance the following season, but his biggest moment for Slavia was in that campaign.
Having finished as champions the previous season, Slavia navigated their way into the champions league group stages, where they were drawn against Inter, Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund.
The Nigerian international scored in the 1-1 draw against Inter while he also got to play against Barcelona and Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou.
This season, he has scored six goals and registered two assists in 19 games for Slavia.
At the international level, Olayinka has only two caps, including his substitute appearance at the 2021 AFCON.