With two of Nigeria’s frontline national team goalkeepers well into their 30s, newly invited Matthew Yakubu might well be seeing a pot of gold at the end of his shock Super Eagles invitation rainbow.
Hardly worth a mention this time last year, keeping 3 clean sheets in the month of August in Slovakia sent shock waves across social media platforms which clearly reverberated to the Glass House in Abuja, culminating in his bewildering invitation to the national team.
Other factors played their parts too: Uzoho is Mr Nowhere-to-be-found in Cyprus these days whilst Akpeyi’s incredible ability to withstand barrage of criticisms could not help him overcome concussion. Even at the best of times, the NPFL functions like a faulty grandpa clock. Now that there is Covid 19, at least there is legitimate reason for it to go on hibernation even as football slowly resumes elsewhere meaning homeboy Ezenwa continues to self-isolate from the Super Eagles.
So, introducing 21 year old Matthew Yakubu.
“It’s a thing of joy to me (to be invited to the Super Eagles),” expressed a delighted Yakubu, who went on to say,”it really shows that I’m really working hard and things are going well”.
Things indeed have gone unbelievably well for the youngster who was virtually unknown this time last year.
But how good is he, really? It is hard to tell. Yes he had that month of miracles when his blessed hands and charmed net helped to keep 3 heavenly clean sheets.
However, greater tests lie ahead for this chosen one. To play for Nigeria is to play against Argentina, Brazil, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Senegal and the likes. Will Yakubu be up to the test?
Perhaps I am just being ahead of myself. I will try to take it one game at a time which is exactly what I would humbly advise the young man to do.
Even if we exclude Akpeyi and Ezenwa, Matthew still has the likes of Uzoho, Alampasu, Okoye, Osigwe and Adeleye to contend with.
But Matthew is on the right track. More headline-grabbing moments in club football and a barnstorming performance in the coming friendlies (if selected for any of the matches) might well see Yakubu stick around longer than anticipated in the Super Eagles.
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