Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala has seen it all in women’s football. The 26 year old striker has proven herself as one of the world’s most devastating finishers in the women’s game, doing her thing in the Nigerian Women Football League with FC Robo and Rivers Angels, from where the national team scouts noticed her as a teenage sensation and she went on to earn the golden boot and golden ball at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, and has been a part of the Super Falcons set up since 2013.
Her performances have earned her stints in England with Liverpool and Arsenal Ladies, as well as in China with Dalian Quanjian FC. It was however her move to Spain with FC Barcelona that has seen her perform at her best.
Oshoala joined Barcelona in 2019 on loan from her Chinese side initially, but after a brilliant year, the Spanish giants decided to make the move permanent.
Since then, she has gone on to score a whopping 42 goals in 46 appearances for her side, including their only goal in the 2019 UEFA Women’s Champions League final 4-1 defeat to Lyon which made her the first African to find the back of the net in the Women’s Champions League final ever.
In spite of her brilliance, Oshoala has failed to break into the first eleven at Barcelona, and has continuously been used on the periphery as a substitute.
The reason for this may be unclear, but her unwillingness to pass the ball in certain occasions to better placed teammates seems to be a factor to this.
A good example of this situation was seen in FC Barcelona’s 4-0 win over Rayo Vallecano today, when at 1-0 Oshoala carried the ball half the length of the pitch and had teammate Lieke Martens across her in acres of space, but she chose to shoot from a tight angle, hitting the goalkeeper in the process and the chance went begging.
The problem with Oshoala is she would repeat what she did every single time if presented with the same situation again. Doesn’t learn. https://t.co/c9Hy8iIWAy
— taylor (@tayIordp) March 20, 2021
This and many other such chances missed have caused fans of the club to have different opinions on whether Oshoala is needed at the club or not. She eventually scored the second of her side’s four goals with a show of her trademark pace and quality finishing.
Now 26 and at the peak of her powers, the Super Falcons captain must learn to play more with her teammates as this may hinder her from winning some of the biggest prizes in women’s football.
As a player, she is good enough to be in the shout for the women’s Ballon d’Or, but making plays such as these would almost certainly keep her on the fringes at Barca, and you can’t win the biggest prizes from the fringes.