The youngster may be playing in the Spanish second division, but he is pushing his name into the frame for a Super Eagles invitation with his excellent performances
On a day many Nigerian stars misfired, Umar Sadiq made it 11 goals in 16 league matches as he delivered another man-of-the-match display to inspire Almeria to an exciting 3-1 victory at home to Castellon.
Sadiq provided the assist to the game’s opener at the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterráneos, with his pass locating strike partner Jose Corpas who finished off expertly in the 26th minute.
But Castellon, the Segunda Division’s basement club, equalized on the hour mark through Jamelli to fuel hopes of earning a vital point at the grounds of the high flyers.
The hosts, though, had an in-form Sadiq on their side, and the 23-year-old showed why he is one of Nigeria’s top marksmen in Europe at the moment, netting his seventh strike in his last five games in all competitions.
Jorge Cuenca made sure of the maximum points for Jose Gomes’ men in the 80th minute to put a seal on a victory powered by two crucial Sadiq contributions.
Brought to Spain from Serbia’s Partizan for just €5 million, the former youth international is proving to be Almeria’s most crucial asset in their hunt for a promotion ticket.
The Rojiblancos have climbed to third on the league table with their latest win, levelled on points with second-placed Espanyol, the team occupying the last automatic promotion spot.
Enjoying a debut season to remember, Sadiq has contributed 11 goals and four assists to Almeria’s La Liga charge.
That tally has seen the former Roma starlet rise to the third spot on the league’s top-scorers chart, just one goal behind Uro Đurđević and Raul de Tomas.
As one of Nigeria’s most in-form strikers in Europe, it would be a surprise should Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr ignore Sadiq when picking Nigeria’s squad for the two Afcon-qualifying games in March.
Sadiq helped Nigeria’s U23 team pick a bronze medal at the Rio Olympic Games, but he is yet to receive a Super Eagles call-up.