IKENWA NNABUOGOR wonders aloud why Eagles’ manager Gernot Rohr continues to ignore Norway-based goal banger Leke James despite his impressive goals record…
Even the King of Norway Harald V would be wondering why Molde FK striker Leke James is not playing for his country even after his impressive goals’ account in the Eliteserien (Norwegian Premier League)
At the last count, the 27-year old Kaduna-born marksman had buried his fifth goal of the season in the eight-week-old Norwegian top league to keep hopes alive of carting away the top scorer’s award.
Last season, he scored 15 goals to inspire his side to a league title.
His efforts also earned him second top scorer, four goals fewer than the top scorer’s award winner.
Not only has he mastered the art of putting the ball in the back of the net, he has also done that in regular fashion and has remained consistent since he arrived the country of Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer in 2012.
This, has indeed, baffled close football watchers both home and abroad why he has been overlooked despite his consistency in front of goal.
Could it be that Rohr has refused to be impressed because he plays in Norway, which is not considered one of the major leagues in Europe?
It is arguable because goal scoring is a special gift as it is expected that proven goal scorers can deliver irrespective of the league they play in.
Leke James seems to play this argument down as he has always proved his goal-scoring abilities in the UEFA Champions League as well the UEFA Europa League.
The Norwegian league has also produced top strikers like the current Manchester United manager Solsjkaer and former Chelsea striker Tore Andre Flo, who went on to prove themselves in Premier League clubs as well as in Europe.
This also means that Leke James can also continue his goal-scoring acts in mainstream Europe should he move in that direction from Norway.
At 27, he has matured from the upcoming Flying Eagles arrowhead, ready and ripe enough to be part of the Eagles set-up going forward.
Perhaps, he will have to move away from Norway as it appears most likely to happen as his contract with Molde ran out this month.
Former Super Eagles midfielder Seyi Olofinjana cemented his place in the national team when he moved to Brann SK though he caught the Eagles’ eye playing for local side Kwara United.
Mikel Obi impressed the Eagles handlers while in the books of the defunct Norwegian side Lyn Oslo. He would go on to captain his national team while he stepped up to Chelsea before he quit international football after last year’s African Cup of Nations competition in Egypt.
If Moses Simon could be considered while playing for Belgian side KAA Gent, why not Leke James, who has been firing consistently since 2012, hitting double figures season after season?
Apart from his consistency, he is a battler, skillful and fast.
Leke James surely deserves his chance to fly with the Super Eagles now.