Victor Boniface has been identified as a potential replacement for the ageing Robert Lewandowski at Barcelona according to reports.
The former Union Saint-Gilloise attacker has been one of the hottest properties in world football since 2022. In 2023, his stock rose to its all-time highest when he linked up with Xabi Alonso at Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
Now, he is attracting the interest of bigger teams following a blistering start to life in the league and in the Europa League. Barcelona are the latest to be linked to Boniface as they prepare for life after Lewandowski, who turns 36 in 2024.
🧐 | Barcelona is monitoring several strikers to succeed Lewandowski in the future:
◾️ Victor Osihmen (Napoli)
◾️ Santiago Gimenez (Feyenoord)
◾️ Jonathan David (Lille)
◾️ Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen)
◾️ Youssef Moukoko (Dortmund)
◾️ Moise Keane (Juventus)
◾️ Serhou… pic.twitter.com/b5ccB645cW
— Barça Insider (@theBarcaInsider) November 2, 2023
Barcelona identify Boniface, Osimhen as Lewandowski replacement
Victor Boniface has hit the ground running in 2023/24 since swapping the Belgian Jupiler Pro League for the German Bundesliga.
His career has gone from one of trials to one of constant wins and almost-superstar status like his namesake, Victor Osimhen. His performances have also helped Die Werkself to clinch top spot in Germany and statistics suggest that they are on course to win what will be their first-ever German top flight title.
He is currently their highest goalscorer this season in which they achieved the 50-goal mark before any team in the big five leagues in Europe.
All his performances also earned him his first Super Eagles call-ups and in three caps, he has scored and assisted one goal each. Simply put, Boniface has been phenomenal in 2023/24 and Barcelona have taken note.
The Catalan giants currently employ the services of top gunman Robert Lewandowski who made his name in the same league that Boniface is currently dominating. The Poland national football team captain is now in his second season with the LaLiga defending champions but many believe he will not remain for a third season.
This makes shopping for a replacement imperative and reports indicate that Boniface, as well as Osimhen, is one of 12 strikers the club is monitoring to replace him.
The others are Santiago Gimenez (Feyenoord), Jonathan David (Lille), Youssoufa Moukoko (Dortmund), Moise Keane (Juventus), Serhou Guirassy (Stuttgart), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Artem Dovbyk (Girona), Mehdi Taremi (Porto), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) and Evan Ferguson (Brighton).
Super Eagles players who have played for Barcelona
Barcelona have a rich history with African talent, having fielded 18 African players including Frank Kessie, Yaya Toure, Seydou Keita, Alexander Song and the AFCON legend and current president of FECAFOOT (Cameroon's football governing body), Samuel Eto'o.
As far as Super Eagles players or players of Nigerian descent go, only Gbenga Okunowo and Emmanuel Amunike.
Okunowo is a La Masia graduate, having spent one year in the legendary football formation school. He made his debut in 1998 and played alongside current Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez, Figo and Rivaldo. He made 21 appearances for the Blaugrana before moving on.
Victor Boniface with his Golden Boot prize for finishing joint top scorer in the Europa League last season 🏆 pic.twitter.com/3AxlW8KcoE
— Soar Super Eagles (@SSE_NGA) October 26, 2023
Amunike was signed in 1996 by the club and played only 26 matches after failing to make the grade at the club. He is currently the assistant coach of the Nigeria national football team and will have some advice for Boniface should he grow too big for Barcelona to ignore.
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 weeks ago