Nigeria Vs Argentina pre-World Cup friendly in Krasnodar on Tuesday, the jury will be out once again to score players auditioning for a place at next summer’s Mundial in the often cold European nation.
Reactions that trailed the Super Eagles’ dead rubber qualification game in Algeria on Friday are enough to show that Nigerians are already thinking of the World Cup and they believe that their beloved team should be well equipped in all areas to face the rest of the world.
That concern is not only with the fans but also the technical crew led by German Gernot Rohr who in recent times has combed every nook and cranny of Europe for players with Nigerian blood having certified locally based players not good enough. (https://www.aclsports.com/rohr-insists-nigerias-best-players-europe/ )
Chelsea prospect Ola Aina made his full debut for Nigeria in Friday’s game and another player who is in line to follow suit in Tuesday’s friendly against the South American powerhouse is Russia-based Brian Idowu.
Before you ask the question “Who is this Idowu again” just in case he gets to feature in Tuesday’s game, our Chief Football Writer Fisayo Dairo gives you some information about him:
Brian Idowu can best be described as a predominantly right footed but with a very decent left foot ‘Jack of all Trades’ who plays for Russian Premier League side Amkar Perm.
Born to a Nigerian father and half-Nigerian mother, Idowu had his football nursery at the Zenit St Petersburg academy but left the club on a free at age 18 after it became evident racism will not allow him get a chance to play for the senior team.
His destination then was Perm, where he has been ever since although he spent a time on loan back at St Petersburg but with Dinamo St Petersburg instead.
Regular at Amkar
The 25-year old has found a home in the Eastern part of Russia and has been a regular with the side in the past two seasons. In 2017/18, Idowu has started and completed fourteen out of Amkar’s sixteen league games (suspended for one game) to underscore his importance to the perennial strugglers.
Perhaps, his versatility is one major reason he is so indispensable to his side. In the fourteen league games Idowu has played this term, he has played seven times as a left wing back, six times as a centre back and once as a right wing back.
He started his career playing fully as a right back but his loan spell at Dinamo exposed him to different positions including the defensive midfield role and the left back position.
Usefulness for Nigeria
Any team will welcome the addition of a multi-dimensional player to it and that seems to be the major advantage that the coming of an Idowu can bring to the Super Eagles.
While the search for a substantive successor to Elderson Echiejile at left back may not be over yet, Idowu can perhaps do a job there if required by Rohr since he plays at the left side of the field a lot at club level and has the much exalted “European nursery”.
With both Nigeria and Argentina having a luxury of using up to seventeen players each in Tuesday’s friendly, all eyes will be on Brian Oladapo Idowu if he is chosen for his own auditioning.
Do you think Idowu will be the solution to Nigeria’s left back worries or he is just another ‘diaspora’ player? Let us know your thoughts at the comments section.