The National team is really a hive of talents and competitiveness has made it a rock today. The Super Eagles of Nigerian have long had prospects we respect – to change the tides and of course bring back the glory days and rich history in our football. Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho fall in this promising category.
But what bewilders us is that, most Nigerians do not know certain things about these guys.
Kelechi Iheanacho grew up in Southern Nigerian as a boy who has long been in love with the round leather game. After coming through the ranks of Taye Academy in Imo, Kelechi Iheanacho finally had the chance to represent Nigeria in the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup where he won the Golden Ball for player of the tournament. Kelechi was later reported to have agreed on a pre-contact with Manchester City football Club of England subject to when he will clock 18 and a work permit. He made a couple of appearances for city’s developmental squad and joined on pre-season to Australia.
Alex on the other hand, was not known prior to him making senior debut for Arsenal F.C. of England at the age of 17. He was actually born in Lagos but his parents left for England in pursue of a greener pasture. Many people do not know that Alex is a nephew to Former Super Eagles Captain and Legend, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha. The Legend was also instrumental in convincing him to play for his birth country over England. Iwobi was subject to being shipped out of Arsenal in the past even long before he started playing in the senior team of Arsenal F.C.
Nigerians have reacted positively to the five star performances by the duo of Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho. The two youngsters are beginning to gel and show their class and the long success the National team will achieve from their services.
It is baffling how these two players grew under our noses and pundits did not notice this. We did not see Kelechi in the grassroots football or maybe he was still budding and lurking, waiting for the right moment to bloom.
Their types can make the Super Eagles great again if we can assemble young guys like them again. These qualities- consistency, skills and humility will be a great deal to propelling the ship to victory just like the class of ’94.
Iwobi is fluent with his passing and great dynamism on the field of play, he also reads the game for a lad of his age; only few peaked footballers have that exceptional quality. Iheanacho is a striker with clinical finishing and a natural goal scorer. He is instinctive in the box and arrives early to tap in. His ability to play as a second striker and behind the striker gives him an edge of flexibility.
Both guys are here to stay and a search for more fresh legs and talents should begin rather than calling up old legs. We should just hope they do not suffer injuries that will shorten their improving careers and slow them from reaching their peaks.
It is of great note that the bromance between Kelechi and Alex is healthy and good for both of them. The two are always up to mischievous things whenever they come together as seen on Iwobi’s Snapchat. These two will be a force to reckon with in the future.
This article was written by Alex Ndace; he tweets via @AlexNdace
Culled from Issue 17