With Nigeria’s sudden craze for her sons playing abroad and the renewed quest of Gernot Rohr to get the best on board, a premium must be placed on our local talents who than ever before are showing immense quality and the will to prove themselves at home. Over the past few months, there’s been nothing less than ten Nigerians who have been touted to switch allegiances and represent the green and white colours of their fatherland.
At a young age of 19, Chelsea loanee, Tammy Abraham has been painting the Championship with goals. With his 20th of the season bagged this last weekend, there’s been endless pressures from Nigeria’s football administrators for the lanky attacker to change his mind over representing England. Filled with enormous potentials, Tammy Abraham is pricing himself as a potent goalscorer and one that may give the new-look Super Eagles a myriad of options but caution must be applied in such situations.
Tyrone Ebuehi of ADO Den Haag has already been contacted over representing Nigeria and has agreed. The Netherland-born full-back is expected to bring an improvement to the Eagles’ shaky defence, a move that has won more fans than critics but one that may be needed to prove itself at the long run.
The local league has quite a number of players who overtime could be very important to the Super Eagles. Few people will expect Ebuehi to come and displace Elderson Echiejile who has made the position his since Taye Taiwo left the scene.
Everton attacking midfield player, Ademola Lookman is another player of great gifts that may add value to the Super Eagles but needs to be handled with care as to the importance of representing the team. Nigeria should not beg anybody to play for her as the talents we have are greatly enormous. Within the local scene, there are wonderful goalkeepers which the national team selectors have mostly chosen from and also, defenders who over the years have solidly stood and churned out good performances. In the midfield, there is the likes of Esosa Igbinoba, former junior international and Rangers midfielder Obinna Nwobodo, young, talismanic attacker, Stephen Odey are all players who have a great deal of assets to deliver to the Super Eagles.
It’s great to give appropriate opportunities to every Nigerian, irrespective of where they play as the language of football is one. It is not a miracle that Oghenekaro Etebo is one of Nigeria’s best legs today despite playing in the league for good years- it’s only a pointer to the extent of quality within the league and many others who are regulars in the Super Eagles today started from local clubs.
Our home-based footballers have proven themselves to be good ambassadors of the kind of potentials we celebrate as a nation and deserve every chance in all honour, as may be deemed big enough for talents who are in other countries. The coaches must look within and with a dignifying focus to pick something spectacular out from the many talents in the league. Every player from Nigeria is a potential Super Eagles player and these footballers like their European counterparts only need the chance to shine.
It’s often been a case of being kept in camp for months only to pick a handful of them who are to be added to the European legion of under performers. This phenomenon has lead to our players moving out of the country in a massive exodus but the state and quality of the league at this point in time only points to promise and the coach must eke out a great piece from the present set of footballers. It may be a situation tantamount to alchemy but if there’s a better to do that, then it’s now!