Before now, it was difficult to convince young players with Nigerian roots to commit their international career to the country. In fact, there is a long list of players who despite being eligible to play for Nigeria, opted to play for the country they were playing their club football in.
This may however be a thing of the past given the recent luck the country has had in capturing players who might have otherwise gone to play for other countries. Alex Iwobi is a prime example.
Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, invited some Europe-based Nigerian footballers to play in the two friendly matches against Senegal and Burkina Faso. Here is a look at 5 of those fresh faces who may just be making their Super Eagles debut if given the chance.
Noah Joel Sarenren Bazee
Based in Germany where he grew up, Bazee is a 20-year-old striker who has played for several German clubs. He currently plays for Hannover 96 in the Bundesliga where he scored six goals in sixteen appearances last season.
With a Nigerian father and a German mother, Bazee is widely regarded as one of the best players in Germany now.
Born in the Netherlands, Ebuehi is 21 years old. He plays for Dutch club, ADO Den Haag. In 2016, Ebuehi was invited to play for Nigeria in the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Algeria. He declined, saying he needed some time to focus on his club.
For the Senegal and Burkina Faso friendlies, he was called up by Rohr. This time, he agreed to play for his fatherland – after an appeal was made to his parents.
Success grew up in Benin city. He started playing professional football in 2012 when he was selected to participate in the Under-17 AFCON competition in Morocco. In the tournament, he scored seven goals in five matches. Six months later, he participated in the Under-17 World Cup, but his performance was cut short by an injury.
In 2014, he was signed by Italian club, Udinese. His next career home was Granada in the Spanish La Liga. After two years there, the 21-year-old moved to Watford F.C.
20-year-old Awaziem is from Enugu. He plays for Portuguese club, F.C. Porto, where he made his UEFA Youth League debut for the club’s Under-19 squad. He was signed through his team El-Kanemi Juniors of Jos. Valued at €2.9 million, he played 10 games for F.C. Porto in the 2015/2016 season.
Olanrewaju is 23 years old. He started his career playing for Ghanaian club, Red Bull Ghana. In 2012 he joined Swiss club, F.C. Luzern; and, from there, he moved to Dinamo Minsk. He currently plays for FK Austria Wien.
Olanrewaju played for Nigeria at the 2009 FIFA Under-17 World Cup. He also played for Nigeria’s Under-20 team. His performance helped push the team to the 2011 African Youth Championship in South Africa. – list compiled by Konbini
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