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Bundesliga Dilemma: Nigerian Wonderkid Told To Buckle Up After Recent Troubles

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A couple of Nigerian stars, including Union Berlin’s Taiwo Awoniyi, have been doing well for their respective clubs in the German top-flight, but Toluwalase Arokodare is not one of them

Cologne boss Markus Gisdol has warned Nigerian youngster Tolu Arokodare to show more professionalism and put in the hard work if he wants to get back to the club’s first-team picture.

Arokodare arrived in Germany last year on a season-long loan deal from Latvia with a stunning reputation in front of the goal, having managed 16 goals in as many games for Valmiera FC.

However, the 20-year-old forward has not been able to replicate that form for Cologne, managing just 89 minutes across nine league matches, and he’s yet to find the back of the net for the Billy Goats.

But his troubles have deepened in recent times, having not played for Cologne since appearing for the final 18 minutes of the side’s 2-0 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt on February 14.

Worse still, the Cologne number seven has not featured recently in head coach Gisdol’s plans, with the manager refusing to name the Nigerian in the past three matchday squads.

The German gaffer questioned Arokodare’s professionalism, insisting the youngster’s attitude and work rate need to improve before he can get back to favour.

“He (Tolu) has to work hard and be disciplined. That is part of being a professional,” Gisdol said at the press conference, as per Liga Insider, ahead of Cologne’s away trip to Union Berlin.

“I’ve missed that one or the other time in the last few weeks, and that’s why he fell a little behind. He knows that. I talked to him about that, and the reaction stays with him.”

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Struggling Cologne signed Nigerian international Emmanuel Dennis also on a temporary deal during the winter transfer season as the club looks to avoid relegation at the end of the campaign.

The Billy Goats have won none of their last four league matches and sit 14th on the Bundesliga table, a mere three points above the relegation zone. 

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