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Orban chase Simon’s goal haul


Nigerian forward, Gift Orban, will aim to equal Moses Simon’s goals record at Gent when the Buffaloes take on Cercle Brugge in a Conference League playoff game at the Ghelamco Arena on Saturday, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

Orban has been a revelation since he arrived in the Belgian league in January from Stabaek Fotball in Norway and he is within touching distance of Simon’s record and his greatest wish will be to surpass the feat of his compatriot within five months.

The 20-year-old has scored 19 times in 19 games so far this season in the Belgian Pro League and Europa Conference League, at a rate of a goal every 75 minutes.

“My duty as an attacker is to score in all positions, Orban told RTBF.

“I want more. Every striker just wants to score. I live on goals.”

Just two goals separate Orban (19) and Simon (21), who holds the record for the highest scoring Nigerian at the club.

Simon who joined from Slovakian side AS Trencin in 2015, made a total of 136 appearances for Gent.

The Nigerian striker will also look to extend his goals against Cercle Brugge.

The 20-year-old bagged a treble against Cercle Brugge at the Jan Breydelstadion in a league game earlier this month scoring in the 51st, 64th, and 67th minute before Hugo Cuypers completed the rout.

Gent have recorded three wins from three games in the playoffs and will be looking to capitalise on home advantage against Cercle Brugge whom they have beaten in their last three games.

His form for Gent has seen a host of Europe’s top clubs have sent scouts to watch him play but Gent do not need to sell one of their key assets and a player they only signed from Norwegian side Stabaek at the end of January.

Orban is under contract until 2027 and Gent would only be tempted to sell for a huge fee. It is also understood that Orban is happy to stay and develop in Belgium for longer before seeking a move.

Meanwhile, several reports claim he is in line for an invitation to the Super Eagles for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sao Tome and Sierra Leone.

Nigeria currently leads Group A with nine points after four games. Guinea Bissau are second with seven points while Sierra Leone and Sao Tome and Principe occupy the third and fourth spot.

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