Recently, various local media platforms have quoted Nigerian coach Gernot Rohr as implying that he is still looking at the direction of QPR's Eberechi Eze, this as the flair forward has come out to say he remains undecided about the country of choice for his international football.
Quite frankly, I think Nigerian online media outlets carry these stories of Eze only to draw traffic to their sites because – let’s face it – the England youth International is holding out for a senior team call up from Gareth Southgate (England manager). And there is good reason for the 21 year old to be optimistic about this. Eze has been nothing but phenomenal in the English Championship this season. His goals, link up play and all round performances have been jaw dropping at times. In fact, the only reason why many believe that he hasn’t earned an England call up is because of the league he plays his football which is about to change as he is being linked to Premier League clubs next season. To be honest, I think Eze knows it and he would much rather play for England but will settle for Nigeria if he fails to maintain such a blistering form at a much higher level. “People are going to start talking about him (Eze) playing for England,” said former England striker Les Ferdinand who went on to add: “a lot of the time you need to be in the Premier League to be recognised but he has shown the kind of form. And, if he continues to develop in the way he is developing and keeps showing the type of football he has been playing, he is certainly going to put himself in the frame (to be invited by Southgate) “. Concluded Ferdinand on Sky Sports.
So, for me, the devil is in the detail: If Eberechi continues on this upward trajectory, he is English; if he stagnates or proves that he can only cut it sharply in the English Championship, then he is Nigerian. It doesn’t have to be that way but I think England is where his heart lies. The difference between him and say Iwobi is that even whilst playing for a big club like Arsenal (with realistic promise of being a truly world class player), Iwobi’s mind was made up – it is Super Eagles all the way (and we in turned have warmed to him ever since). Which leads me to say that there is no point covering Eberechi’s ‘Nigeria vs England choice’ stories any more. It is becoming stale. We know who we are, does he? I think he does, so let’s leave it at that.