Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr has informed www.aclsports.com that Arsenal star Alex Iwobi is set to feature in a new playing role with the senior national team; the Super Eagles starting from when the team face Libya in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday.
Iwobi who has been made to settle for a role on the flanks both at club and national team level has never hidden his desire to take up a central role with the Super Eagles might have his dreams close to fulfillment very soon.
The nephew of Nigerian great, Jay-Jay Okocha is joining up with the Super Eagles squad for the first time since the last FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia and given the attacking talents at Mr Rohr’s disposal, he feels the time is now for Iwobi to live his dream.
Our Chief Football Writer Fisayo Dairo asked the German if the presence of wingers like Moses Simon, Henry Onyekuru, Samuel Kalu and Ahmed Musa will mean a change in roles for Iwobi and he replied in a straight-forward manner.
“Yes, it is a possibility that Iwobi can play at the centre,” said Rohr to www.aclsports.com
“Like you said, we have two very quick wingers with (Samuel) Kalu and (Ahmed) Musa so the opportunity to make him play in the centre has come now and perhaps he will do it,” he added.
As noticed in the team’s training session on Wednesday, Iwobi was seen playing in the hole behind striker Odion Ighalo during the two sides selected and during a specific training routine, sparking thoughts of such possibility during the game.
Rohr also reiterated the selection dilemma which confronts him and his coaching staff especially while bidding to pick the eighteen out of the twenty-four players that will make the Match Day squad on Saturday.
“We have twenty-four players here and already the choice is difficult to choose the eighteen. There can only be 18 on the team list and eleven players starting for the game but I am happy with the collection of players I have and how well they are working to give the needed result on Saturday.”
Nigeria are currently third behind Group E leaders Libya and second placed South Africa in the race for qualifying for next years’s tournament, provisionally in Cameroon. Victories in the upcoming double header contest against the Libyans will at least give the Super Eagles a five-point advantage over the Mediterranean Knights ahead of the final two group games.
Fisayo Dairo reporting from Uyo