Gernot Rohr appears to be listening to critics who have knocked him for not injecting new blood to the Super Eagles after he called up as many as six uncapped players for next month’s friendlies against Cote d’Ivoire and Tunisia.
FC Porto left Zaidu Sanusi, Frank Onyeka of FC Midtjylland, Chidera Ejuke from CSKA Moscow and to some extent Genk striker Cyriel Dessers will be expected to mount serious competition for first-team places when they join up with the squad in Austria.
MATTHEW YAKUBU EAGLES CALL-UP RATING 5/10
The Flying Eagles goalkeeper has acquitted himself nicely in Slovakia since his transfer to SKF Sered, where he is now first-choice. He has great reflexes and a modern-day shot stopper, but he is mainly one for the future and would not be expected to make his full international debut next month. The 21-year-old goalkeeper’s invitation is meant to gradually blood him into the Eagles setup at a time when the country cannot still boast of an undisputed No 1.
ZAIDU SANUSI EAGLES CALL-UP RATING 8/10
This is a most deserved call-up for the 23-year-old defender as he will immediately square up with Jamilu Collins for the Eagles leftback position. His speed, crosses and attacking drive will mean a fierce competition for this once problematic position.
SAMSON TIJANI EAGLES CALL-UP RATING 3/10
By far the most controversial call-up amid speculations that he was imposed on the team by a top official. He is barely a few months old as a pro, while there are more deserving defensive midfielders in Europe who are ahead of him. The Golden Eaglets captain is also far down the pecking order of the call-ups for the friendlies – Wilfred Ndidi, Mikel Agu and even another fresh invitee, Frank Onyeka. The only explanation would be that the Eagles invited him to save on air fare…
FRANK ONYEKA EAGLES CALL-UP RATING 7/10
Another defensive midfielder who has earned his place in the national team with what he has produced at top Danish club FC Midtjylland. Wilfred Ndidi remains the country’s main enforcer in midfield, but 10 million Euros-rated Onyeka can push him for that role especially he also brings more going forward as he has rattled goals in Denmark as a box-to-box midfielder. He is already ahead of Mikel Agu.
CHIDERA EJUKE EAGLES CALL-UP RATING 8/10
A very popular call-up with the country’s sports minister already among his millions of fans after what he showed at Dutch club. He is an exciting winger who scores goals, unlike Samuel Chukwueze. That explains why he is even playing as a striker at CSKA Moscow. He is therefore a winger with an end product and will be great addition to the Eagles beginning with his much-awaited debut next month.
CYRIEL DESSERS EAGLES CALL-UP RATING 6/10
The experienced striker will also make his Eagles debut in Austria after he could not do so in March no thanks to the outbreak of Coronavirus. Victor Osimhen is now first choice to lead the country’s attack and Dessers will have to queue behind should Rohr play only one striker. Ironically, Genk teammate Paul Onuachu and not Dessers is the man on fire now and yet he was overlooked by the Eagles. ‘Simy’ Nwankwo is another centre-forward that ought to have been rewarded with an invitation with what he produced in Serie B last season.