In-form striker Olanrewaju Kayode hopes for more Nigeria caps

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport
Olanrewaju Kayode
Austria Vienna striker Olanrewaju Kayode hopes to become a regular in Nigeria's national side

Austria Vienna's Olanrewaju Kayode, Nigeria's highest scoring striker in Europe this season with 17 goals, hopes his rich vein of form will bring him more international caps.

Kayode, 23, made his debut for Nigeria in a 1-1 draw with Senegal in London last month, and hopes Gernot Rohr was impressed with his game-changing appearance as a second-half substitute.

"It was nice to finally get a chance to complete my international appearances for Nigeria under coach Rohr," Olanrewaju told BBC Sport.

"It was a bit frustrating when I was constantly overlooked at some point because I was scoring in the Europa League and Austrian League - but this is a big chance for me to compete.

"Hopefully it is the first of many caps for my country and I look forward to playing regularly in the future," Olanrewaju added.

The Austria-based forward is likely to feature again for the three-time African champions when they face South Africa in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa in June and is hopeful of helping the Super Eagles qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

"I've played for Nigeria at the U-17 and U-20 World Cups, and to play in Russia would be a dream come true."

But Kayode admits he has to fight for a regular place in the Super Eagles team alongside Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho, Watford's Isaac Success and China-based duo of Odion Ighalo and Brown Ideye.

"I know what to expect as Nigeria is greatly blessed with other strikers but it is only a challenge not an unhealthy rivalry," he said.

"I can only look at other players who I played with at the youth World Cups like Kenneth Omeruo, Ogenyi Onazi and Ahmed Musa for inspiration."

Kayode, who has also played in the Ivory Coast, Switzerland and Israel, represented Nigeria at the 2009 and 2011 Fifa U-17 and U-20 World Cups respectively.

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