Not all national team players are born and raised in the country they represent. Others are eligible to play for national teams based on descent and other citizenship methods.
Nigeria is one of the biggest international teams in the world and there are a high number of players out there who were not born and bred in Nigeria but are eligible to play for the Super Eagles while others are already doing so.
Some of these players eligible to represent the country are Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze, Carney Chukwuemeka and Nathan Tella.
However among these four starlets, who should be the Super Eagles’ immediate target for the team?
Allnigeriasoccer.com takes a look at what they offer and the needs of the team to arrive at a verdict.
Born in England to Nigerian parents the Crystal Palace dynamic winger is eligible to play for both countries.
Like Manchester City’s Jack Grealish, Eze plays behind the striker on the left side despite not being a traditional left-winger.
However, he is equally adept as a number 10 like Grealish. Using his stronger foot, Eze can slide inside and provide space for overlapping fullbacks, which helps to link the attacking lanes.
When he’s free of defensive responsibilities, he makes the most of it by skipping past defenders with a casual swagger and showing off his skills.
The Southampton 22-year-old winger who began his career at Arsenal is a Nigerian-born English professional who can represent both countries.
With his excellent control and technical prowess, Nathan Tella would be a valuable addition to Nigeria’s flanks.
He is very versatile and is highly capable of playing in an attacking midfield role if the need arises. At this moment, the advantages he brings to Southampton on the flanks and in attack generally are immeasurable.
He had a success rate of roughly 80% when it came to tackling opponents. His cross accuracy and one-on-one abilities are also very well refined for a player at such a young age.
A Nigerian-French-Algerian by birth, Olise is qualified to represent any of these countries in international competitions as well as England. Olise is a left-footed advanced midfielder who can play as a number 10 or on either flank.
He’s known for his ability to make defence-splitting passes that open up opposition defences at dangerous angles.
With his excellent passing range, Olise is able to dictate play and can speed up the game whenever need be. In terms of agility and mobility, Olise is one of the most talented youngsters in the Premier League.
The Anglo-Nigerian is a powerful, skilful & creative box-to-box midfielder. He has a good body mass ratio, physical strength, power, stamina and natural fitness to ride challenges from opponents. He is best described as an all-round midfielder
For a player his size, Chukwuemeka had great coordination, agility, work rate and footwork. He also possesses a high level of stamina and agility to make incisive runs on and off the ball from midfield.
Another thing that catches the eye is that Chukwuemeka is a press-resistant player. This is a rare trait for a player of his age.
The aforementioned players are great footballers in their positions but why should Carney Chukwuemeka be called up?
Considering the fact that Wilfred Ndidi has been having injury problems lately, it is fairly obvious that the Super Eagles need more depth and quality in the centre midfield department.
Modern football is focused on control in every facet of play. This can be achieved by having more technicians in deeper areas as was seen in the game against Sao Tome and Principe and Carney Chukwuemeka provides them.
Oghenekaro Etebo is very good in this regard and Iwobi has shown that he can develop very well in that position but the Super Eagles need more. Innocent Bonke and Frank Onyeka are mostly ball-winners who offer little control.
This makes Chukwuemeka the most immediate Super Eagles target among the players listed above as he has tremendous ability and quality to slot into that position.
The persistent injuries to Wilfred Ndidi are also a big factor in this verdict.
Below are some of the qualities offered by Chukwuemeka in a box-to-box role and deeper areas.
– tactical intelligence
– ball control
– decision making
Nigeria should have Chukwuemeka at the top of the list of players to be convinced to play for the Super Eagles.
Photo Credits : southamptonfc.com, avfc.co.uk, cpfc.co.uk