Five Nigerian Players Who May Never Play For Nigeria Again Under Gernot Rohr
There are so many players who could be in this list but we are limiting it to just five.
These are players who once played or have not have played under head coach Gernot Rohr and Newslegend.com.ng‘s IZUCHUKWU OKOSI believes they may find it extremely difficult being part of the national team again despite Rohr insisting on Monday that he has about 50 Nigerian players he is monitoring as preparations begin for the 2019 AFCON.
1. Elderson Echiejile
Elderson Echiejile has not played for the Super Eagles since the 2018 World Cup in Russia – in fact he was an unused substitute in the three group games.
The free agent was released by AS Monaco in the summer and Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr predictably will not be talked into giving opportunity to players who are not active much less those club less.
New kid on the block Jamiliu Collins seems unwilling to let go his position and it does feel that Echiejile’s days in the Nigerian national team is over.
2. Junior Ajayi
Junior Ajayi is on this list not because he is not good enough quality for the Super Eagles but because Gernot Rohr hardly gives opportunities to players who are strutting their skills in the Nigerian or African leagues.
Only injuries to key players and proximities to match venues at any time might change this narrative. The one-time Bayern Munich star has a flurry of options upfront although Ajayi ought to be in the equation.
3. Gbolahan Salami
Former youth international Gbolahan Salami recently signed for Turkish side Denizlispor from Kazakhstan side Irtyat but his national team chances may be slim under Rohr as the Franco German has variety of choices to make with players who have worked with him in about two years.
Salami’s nomadic career may necessarily not be an issue but the controversial striker may have little chance to break into the Eagles under Gernot Rohr as the likes of Henry Onyekuru, Isaac Success, Victor Osimhen all have better chances as they have been in the coach’s plans since his appointment.
4. Ramon Azeez
CD Lugo defensive midfielder Ramon Azeez was sensational as a youth international. He was part of the Golden Eaglets side that were finalists at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup which Nigeria hosted – the Nigerian side lost 1-0 to Switzerland in the final.
Big things were expected of the player but his international career have not lighted up since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
There are several options available to Rohr in front of the defence at the moment: Wilfred Ndidi, John Ogu, Mikel Agu, Joel Obi, and even John Mikel Obi are all ahead of Azeez in the pecking order.
5. Michael Uchebo
Enugu Rangers forward Michael Okechukwu Uchebo has retraced his steps back to his boyhood club after his sojourn in Europe went south. He was in action in the Super Cup clash between Lobi Stars and Rangers on November 20 at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba which the former won 1-0.
The five-cap Super Eagles player with a goal to his credit was in Keshi’s team to the 2014 World Cup much to the dissatisfaction of many Nigerian fans due to poor performances in the team’s group games.
The former youth international last played for Portuguese side Boavista but coming back home means he is starting from scratch and unless he quickly makes it back to Europe thanks to the Flying Antelopes’ CAF Confederation Cup involvement, his chances of redeeming his image may be slim.