Nigerian forward, Tolu Arokodare, has been likened to former Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli by his former boss Philippe Hinschberger, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

Arokodare and Hinschberger worked together at Amiens for a year and a half before the 23-year-old joined Genk in January as a replacement for compatriot, Paul Onuachu, who joined Championship side, Southampton, last summer.

The Lagos-born striker’s debut season was hampered by injuries as he failed to replicate the form that saw him score six goals for his French club before moving to Belgium. He only managed to score two goals by the end of the season, failing to help Genk win the Belgian league title.

The Nigerian started the 2023/24 season with a remarkable header in the 1-1 draw against Servette in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers’ first leg.

In an interview with Swiss publication, Watson, Hinschberger sums up Arokodare, who he knows well in Amiens, comparing him to Italian Balotelli.

Hinschberger, though recognising Arokodare’s physical prowess and potential, expressed his concerns about the player’s inconsistency, making him an unreliable choice in crucial moments.

“Tolu is an endearing boy who sometimes deserves a little kick in the ass,” Hinschberger told Watson.

“He’s very fast, but you don’t really notice that because he doesn’t often go towards the goal. This is what he has often been criticized for.

“Out of five chances, he can score two extraordinary successes and miss three easy ones.

“Tolu can be loved by half of the stadium and hated by the other. He has irritating sides, and a certain nonchalance when losing the ball.

“He doesn’t come back to defend much, because running takes energy from him and he doesn’t have a physical kick drum. In Amiens, people criticised him for his attitude on the pitch, which is a bit like Balotelli’s.”



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