Olayinka: Super Eagles forward joins elite company of Boniface & Tella

Super Eagles striker Peter Olayinka has celebrated a double triumph in his first season with Red Star Belgrade, capping off an impressive debut campaign in Serbian football.

Olayinka, who transferred from Czech champions Slavia Prague last summer, has made a significant impact with the Serbian capital side, quickly establishing himself as a key player for the club.

He joins the list of Super Eagles players to win a league and cup double this season—a list that includes Bayer Leverkusen's Victor Boniface and Nathan Tella.

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Photo by Icon Sport

Cup success for Peter Olayinka after league title

After securing the Serbian Superliga title earlier this month, Olayinka has now added another trophy to his collection. Red Star Belgrade defeated Vojvodina 2-1 in the Serbian Cup final on Saturday, achieving a remarkable league and cup double for the season.

Olayinka started the cup final and delivered a solid performance, contributing to his team's success even though he did not find the back of the net. Mirko Ivanić opened the scoring for Red Star in the 37th minute, and Uroš Spajić doubled their lead.

Although Aleksa Vukanović scored a late goal for Vojvodina in added time, it was not enough to prevent Red Star from lifting the trophy.

Red Star Belgrade won the league title ahead of their bitter city rivals Partizan by a seven-point margin, earning 77 points in 30 games, while Partizan finished second with 70 points.

This dominant performance underscores Red Star's supremacy in Serbian football this season.

Olayinka's individual contributions

Olayinka's season with Red Star Belgrade has been highly productive. He appeared in 42 matches across all competitions, scoring 10 goals and providing seven assists, demonstrating his significant value to the team.

In the Serbian Superliga, Olayinka played 29 games, netting eight goals and assisting four.

Although he did not score in any of Red Star's five Champions League matches, his overall performance has been commendable and crucial to the team's success.

In the Serbian Cup, Olayinka's contribution was also notable, where he scored one goal in three games.

During the Championship Round, he found the net once in five matches, playing a key role in securing the title for Red Star. His consistent performances made him the 10th highest goal scorer of the past season.

Super Eagles forward Peter Olayinka
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International career

Peter Olayinka made his debut for the Super Eagles in 2019, and was part of the squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon where Nigeria lost to Tunisia in the Round of 16.

However, he has been out of the national team picture recently due to the emergence of younger talents like Victor Osimhen, Taiwo Awoniyi, and Victor Boniface.

Consequently, Olayinka was not picked by Super Eagles manager Finidi George for next month’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin.

Super Eagles forward Peter Olayinka
Photo by Icon Sport

Although the Crvena Zvezda forward has yet to score in his four appearances for the national team, his club performances continue to impress and showcase his potential.

His ability to perform consistently at club level suggests that a return to the national team could be on the horizon, especially with a new manager in charge.

Future prospects with Super Eagles?

With his success in Serbia, Olayinka's stock is on the rise. His first season with Red Star Belgrade has been a resounding success, marked by a league and cup double.

His performances have solidified his reputation as a valuable forward, and if he continues to perform at this level, a national team call-up might not be far off.

Olayinka's successful transition from Czech Republic to Serbia has proven his adaptability and resilience, and his future looks bright both at club level and potentially on the international stage.

As he continues to develop and hone his skills, fans and pundits alike will be watching to see if he can maintain his high standards and earn his place back in the Super Eagles squad especially with a new manager in charge of the national team.

Olayinka: Super Eagles forward joins elite company of Boniface & Tella
Andrew Randa

Andrew Randa is a veteran Nigerian sports journalist with over 20 years of experience covering the beautiful game across Africa. Andrew served as a Media Officer for Nigeria's U-20 Men's National Team for three years, offering a unique perspective on the future stars of Nigerian football.

Beyond reporting, Andrew is a pioneer in sports graphics creation within Nigeria. His expertise extends to sports kit design, making him a true multi-faceted talent in the African sports landscape.

Andrew's experience is vast, with collaborations encompassing prestigious names like Kickoff, SuperSport, the NFF (Nigeria Football Federation), and the NPFL (Nigeria Professional Football League)