Super Eagles winger Moses Simon, whose club has a midweek fixture against Rennes in France, is starting to divide opinions among Super Eagles supporter as some feel he is still relevant to the team while other believe the Jos born speedster no longer has a place in the national team.
Moses Simon’s strengths these days come in the more ‘stabilising and defensive’ aspects of his game.
Critically watching some of his league games this season, one can now totally understand why the coach of the national team Gernot Rohr would want the 24 year old winger around the squad to be introduced with about 15 minutes to go.
Simon's game is going through an evolution brought about by 2 things: injuries and the way he was deployed at his parent club Levante, last season in Spain (as a wing-back which helped developed the defensive side of his game) .
Rather than pierce through defences like hot knife through butter - as he used to do - Simon now holds on to ball, takes his time and tries to pick out passes while offering very good support to his full back.
His corner kicks are quite good as these created at least one goal for Nigeria at the recently concluded AFCON in Egypt. His composure and ball control are also noteworthy.
However, those convincing and credible dribbles are not there anymore (though he is pacy and can attempt to outrun a sluggish defender).
Because he doesn’t have conviction in his take-ons anymore, it leads to hesitation (and doubts in his mind) when he tries to do this often leading to him losing possession all together.
So, with this in mind, he waits, looks, buys time and then elects to pass the ball knowing fully well that his that recent success rate of his (predictable) take-ons are low.
But, his passes are really good. Also, attracting attention to himself while deciding what to do, allows his team mates ample time to run into space and cause damage which is good overall for the team.
For the Super Eagles, perhaps he is not a starter but one to come in later on to stabilise things.
There is still a place in the national team for Moses Simon.
Ironically, his weaknesses are actually leading to a sort of maturity in his all-round play