Everton of England midfielder, Alex Iwobi might be the one to lose out in the Super Eagles, should Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president, Melvin Amaju Pinnick get a fulfillment of his desire to have Queens Park Raners’ youngster, Eberechi Eze in the squad.
This is sequel to a declaration by Pinnick that he believes Eze can add more depth to the Eagles’ midfield, in playing alongside Oghenekaro Etebo, Wilfred Onyinyen Ndidi and Joe Aribo, but the NFF boss did not include Iwobi in his projections.
With Iwobi having struggled of recent with his club, who are equally facing a blight of fortunes and results so far this season, the former Arsenal star has found himself on the wrong side of comments from fans and pundits alike.
Although the former England youth international got a goal in his last match for the Eagles, Nigerian fans have also of recent been critical of his inconsistent form, showboating performances and tendency to fade when expectations on him are highest.
Those dips might have now left Pinnick into leaving Iwobi out of his roll call of players to beef up the Eagles’ midfield in days to come, with his expectations of Eze bringing to bear on the Nigerian national team new flare and depth.
Pinnick has made it paramount in his plans to persuade the England under-21 international to play for Nigeria, as he believes the youngster will improve the squad, having scored seven goals and provided four assists so far this season in the English Championship.
The NFF supremo has come under fire for his efforts at trying to get Eze to make a switch in allegiance, but Pinnick says he has no regrets or apologies over his action, as he is hoping to convince the QPR midfielder to play for his father’s country at senior level.
Eze was born in England and has already played twice for his country of birth at under-21 level this year, but Pinnick says the dreadlocks-wearing lad can boost Nigeria’s midfield playing with the trio of Etebo, Ndidi and Aribo, with high prospects of going on to excel at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, but the NFF boss unwittingly forgot to mention Iwobi in the scheme of things.
Pinnick told BBC Sport: “I had a positive meeting with Ebere Eze in London. Can you imagine a midfield with Ndidi, Aribo, Etebo and Eze? it is one that will improve our squad. We need to make a solid representation at Qatar 2022 and it starts with improving on your squad with quality players like Eze.
“I have no regrets talking to Eze, who visited me at home with his girlfriend. I spoke to his parents as well. He requested for the chance to continue to focus on his club career which is going well so far, and that further progress will be made in due course. But I am confidently hopeful that he will play for Nigeria soon.”