Some fans doubted the qualities of Dennis and Onyeka before they moved to the summit of English football, the mecca of world club football.
I always believed in both from the days of their humble beginnings. I remember getting into heated debates about how prolific Umar was in Serbia only to be told that he was bossing it in a mediocre league; Umar’s attacking prowess was meant to congeal into frozen impotence in a more better league.
His eloquence and ruthlessness in form in Spain suggests otherwise.
We shouldn’t wait until Nigerian players breakthrough in an ‘A’ rated league before giving them the respect they deserve.
There are many Umars, Onyekas and Dennis in less glamorous leagues across Europe. Funsho Bamgboye (in Hungary) and Orji Okonkwo (Serie B) are but 2 examples. Some will be fortunate to make it to mecca of world football, many others will not be that fortunate but crucially, it takes nothing away from how good they are.
A shrewd coach will wise up to the fact that some of the best outfield players (or goalkeepers) available to Nigeria are not just the ones playing in glamorous leagues. Some players in ordinary leagues are capable of extraordinary performances.
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