By Francis Ajuonuma, Lagos
Former Nigerian international, Etim Esin has challenged Leicester City of England forward, Kelechi Iheanacho to up his game if he hopes to play his way back to the Super Eagles.
Iheanacho is yet to play a game for Leicester City in the ongoing English Premiership League (EPL) season, with his only appearance for the club coming on September 24, 2019 when he came off the bunch to score Leicester City’s fourth goal against Championship side, Luton in a Carabao Cup and has been overlooked by national team manager, Gernot Rohr in the list of players invited to Super Eagles to face Brazil in an international friendly in Singapore on October 13, 2019.
Esin, who spoke with The Authority, while reacting on the quality of players invited by Rohr for October 13 soccer showpiece against the South American champions, noted that those invited are proven quality at their respective club in the ongoing season, especially young strikers like Victor Victor Osimhen of Lille OSC, France, Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis of Club Brugge, Belgium and Samuel Chukwueze of Villarreal FC, Spain.
“I hope iheanacho will go back and ver work hard to get a place in the present Super Eagles because there are other talents coming up who wants to take your position, so you’ve to prove a point. If given a chance take it because football is all about taking your chance.
“Victor Osimhen, Chukwueze and that young Nigerian player of Club Brugge that scored against Spanish giants Real Madrid in the Uefa Champions League, Bonaventure, we should give those kinds of players a chance and not let bring politics in our football,” he said.
“At Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, a guy scored a goal like that it shows he has some thing in him. It’s not everybody that goes to Santiago Bernabéu Stadium scores a great goal. So we’ve to give him opportunity and the chance prove himself. For Iheanacho he has to raise his game at the club level to attract attention for national team recall,” he added.
He described the coming international friendly against Brazil as the right platform to test the quality of the Super Eagles players and build their confidence.
“I think this is a platform for players to come out and shine because this is a world-wide big match. I mean Brazil is not a small country, so I want to see one unknown star to come out and take the bull by the horn. If any body scores goal against Brazil anywhere in the world is a big plus for that player, so I think we can step up and see. It’s not going to be an easy game but I hope we’ll do well against Brazil.
“We’ve to encourage them by giving them the opportunity to play, like this Brazil game is a big platform for them to showcase their talent. The regular they play for the country, the more confidence they have because every player needs confidence,” Esin concluded.