HomePlayers In FocusA Gift to football

A Gift to football

Published on:

Gift Emmanuel Orban has written history. Wonderkid Gift Orban struck four goals during 40 second-half minutes in the Belgium top flight recently, in a remarkable showing that proved Victor Osimhen isn’t the only Nigerian hotshot giving defenders sleepless nights this season. There’s more.

Before he smashed those four goals, Orban had scored another hattrick in the previous game, but this time in the Europa Conference League. Scoring 7 goals in 2 games is no easy feat, with Erling Haaland the only player that has actually gone and done the same.

What the Norwegian hasn’t been able to match is Orban’s latest record in UEFA. The 20-year-old Nigerian striker scored the fastest hattrick in any European competition in KAA Gent’s victory over Turkish club Basaksehir FK. In the first half, Orban scored a hattrick within just four minutes—the fastest record in UEFA history.

The previous record for the fastest hattrick in a UEFA club competition was held by Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian striker scored three goals in just six minutes in Liverpool’s 7-1 win over Rangers during a UEFA Champions League group stage match in October 2022. Patson Daka holds the record for the fastest hattrick in the Europa League. The Leicester City striker needed just nine minutes to score his three goals in a 4-3 victory over Spartak Moscow in October 2021.

The Nigerian kid is something special, and this might be just the start of a beautiful career. While critics may want to say it could be a flash in the pan, the booming rise of Orban suggests otherwise, as he looks set to follow in the footsteps of many great Nigerian players who used the Belgian league as a launching pad to global relevance.

How good is Gift Orban?

Far from being an accomplished player, Orban had to work hard to see his name on the stadium scoreboards. Like many Nigerian players before him, nothing came easy for Orban but he kept his cool with his determination to succeed and overcame all obstacles. Success wasn’t that easy for him and it kept getting away whenever it seemed close. But little did he know that fate had something in store for him.

The Nigerian was raised in Togo and won the Norwegian second-tier league and Golden Boot before making his big move to Gent in 2020. A shock signing in January from the Norwegian second division Gift Emmanuel Orban has already become a class act with Belgian club KAA Gent – where he is already following in the footsteps of his Nigerian counterpart Victor Osimhen.

After that Conference League heroics, Orban has entered the history books, having already scored 10 plus goals across all competitions. That is a good figure considering his age and top-flight experience.



Gift Orban stats

The Nigerian striker has nine Pro League goals in as many outings for Gent. Orban also surprisingly has a better goals-to-game ratio than former Gent player Osimhen – during his time at the Belgian outfit.

Ever since his first appearance for Gent, Orban has averaged a goal every 65 minutes in the league. Only PSG attacker Kylian Mbappe has a better metric during this period in all of Europe.

Since making his debut on February 11, Orban has averaged a goal every 61 minutes of league action – with only Haris Tabakovic of Austria Vienna and Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe scoring more regularly during that period of all players in the top 10 European leagues.


Gift Orban scout report

While Orban is already developing into one of the most lethal strikers in world football, it is his selfishness on the pitch that has irked his teammates. Although there are many more positives in his game, this could be a case where the negatives outweigh the positives.

“I didn’t see him the first half, but he doesn’t have to be in the match to score out of the blue each time,” he said, as per Sporza. “He saved us from a difficult game.

“Things can always improve, he still has some conditioning work ahead of him…and has to learn to celebrate with the team.”

At 21, the Nigerian talent has received high praise wherever he has set foot and his talent is evident on the pitch. Orban is quick, relentless and ruthless with both his feet. While he has already scooped in multiple individual awards for Gent, he must remain grounded in order to reach new heights.

With his other Nigerian striker Victor Boniface and Victor Osimhen already making their name on big stages, Orban might learn a thing or two from them. Only patience will get him to the levels he aspires to reach given he has the world at his feet at just a tender age.


Gift Orban transfer news

Orban is no doubt Nigeria’s latest addition to the talented pool of attackers they have got and fans can expect great things from him. The next big thing in football though is still some time away from earning himself a move to a much bigger club.

It looks like Gent have discovered a gem and Orban must realise that this is the place for him at least another season. Gent’s transfer for Orban almost fell apart but it came on the table at the end moment, joining for a fee of €3.3m.

That deal now looks like a steal as Orban has hit the ground running immediately in Belgium, setting records domestically and in Europe. Gift Orban is truly a gift living up to his name, and if this is the trajectory he continues in then sky is the limit for the Nigerian.


Arnold Lewis
A hardcore Chelsea fan, who is often found playing football on the weekends. He has an exceptional voice and his rendition of old Hindi classic songs will make your heart melt. He is the man with the funky hair.

also read