Would Eberechi Eze have been able to walk straight into Super Eagles Starting 11?


Eberechi Eze continues to feature in Nigerian football media blogs with his latest installment being the story on his disappointment at being dropped by Arsenal as a minor.


"At a young age (of 13) it was hard, especially being released (by Arsenal). Me and my mum cried, everyone was so upset – that’s all you know at that age," said Eze according a Nigerian media blog. That article has prompted a bevy of Super Eagles supporters to suggest that such feeling of rejection will eventually be his portion of he elects to kit for England ahead of Nigeria. Having played with distinction in the English Championship last season after periods in the lower trenches of English football, Eze is now slowly but surely revealing his true worth with decent performances in what is England’s upper echelon: the English Premier League with Crystal Palace. Already an England youth international, Eze is sure destined for international football at senior level. The feeling in some quarters is that selecting England ahead of Nigeria will be a grievous mistake. But, a look at the current England midfield serves to suggest that Eze has what it takes to cement a place in the current 3 Lions squad. With the latest midfield set up of the England national team made up of the likes of Jack Graelish, Jude Bellingham, and Mason Mount, Eberechi Eze has every right to believe he can force his way into the squad and cement his place.

Even if he elects to play for Nigeria, it is a well known fact that not all dual nationalities who pick Nigeria ahead of other options will be automatically picked for the Super Eagles. Josh Maja, for example, is still waiting for meaningful minutes with the Super Eagles despite featuring regularly in French football. Russia born Brian Idowu is currently in international football wilderness despite churning out quality performances in the Russian Premier League. So, whatever direction Eze’s international football takes, he will still have to fight for his place: Alex Iwobi for instance is not just going to be relegated to the bench for Eze if he chooses Nigeria. But one thing is for sure, Eze is showing that he has what it takes to fight for his place in either the Nigerian or the English national team. His promising performance in the Premier League is starting to catch attention. Okay, conventional wisdom suggests that he has a greater chance of breakthrough with Nigeria but it doesn’t mean he will have an easy ride. For now, he can just keep playing well and improving in the English Premier League. If he chooses England ahead of Nigeria, the Super Eagles will not be diminished as a result of his choice.


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