Some members of the Super Eagles have thrown their weight behind the return of controversial West Bromwich Albion attacker Osaze Odemwingie to the team. Odemwingie last featured for Nigeria in a 2012 Nations Cup qualifying game in Kigali, Rwanda in February 2011.
Coach Stephen Keshi had hinted in an interview during the week that Odemwingie could get an unlikely recall to the national team.
“For Odemwingie, he still has a place in the team. I’m not looking for an apology from him. He is somebody that I like very well and he knows that. The thing is, it’s about the team that I’m worried about,” Keshi said.
Inter Milan midfielder, Obiora Nwankwo has now praised Keshi for “this bold step” and believes Odemwingie’s return will augur well for the team.
“Having Odemwingie back in the national team will be a big plus. With all due respect to all the strikers in the team who have been working hard, Odemwingie is a very experienced striker who knows his way to goal,” said the 21-year-old currently on loan at Romanian club, CFR Cluj.
Nwankwo added that experience plays a big role in teams winning matches when the stakes are high and insisted that Keshi’s recent declarations are nothing short of a masterstroke.
“Talent alone is not just enough to win games. You need experience and that’s where you need people like Vincent Enyeama, Joseph) Yobo, John Mikel Obi and Odemwingie.
“The coach has acted like a father and we must respect that,” he said.
Enugu Rangers midfielder, Sunday Mba also explained that Odemwingie’s potential and long years as a professional footballer would “help the team.”
“As footballers, our job is to go out there and play but experience is important in this game and I think Odemwingie will help the team in this regard,” he said.
Meanwhile, former psychologist of the Super Eagles, Robinson Okosun has dispelled the notion that Odemwingie could act as a disruptive influence in the team.
“Odemwingie is not a troublesome person. I know him better than a lot of Nigerians do. I have worked with him for years in the national team and I can tell you he’s one of the nicest and friendliest persons you will ever meet.
“People have been talking about what happened at West Brom last season but all human beings pass through phases in their lives.