The Media Officer of the Super Eagles, Toyin Ibitoye, on Wednesday raised football fans’ hopes on the possibility of Eberechi Eze of Queens Park Rangers FC of England to play for Nigeria.
Ibitoye made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos ahead of the team’s buildup toward 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers.
NAN reports that the 21-year-old Nigerian-born QPR attacking midfielder, who is eligible to play for the Three Lions of England, had been previously invited by Coach Gernot Rohr to join the team.
Eze had produced stellar performances for the English Championship side and is one of QPR’s best performers this season, scoring vital goals from the midfield to the admiration of Nigerian officials.
The midfield rising star represented the England U-19 in 2019 when he made his debut on October 11 in a 2-1 win against Italy in the U-20 Elite League.
The President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, had also met with Eze in London on the possibility of playing for Nigeria.
Ibitoye, however, told NAN that the national team’s scouts were still trying to convince the player to wear Nigeria’s Super Eagles jersey.
“The Super Eagles scouts are still working on Eze to play for Nigeria; he is a good player and will be a good addition to the team as we prepare for the qualifications for the World Cup.
“We have other players who are equally good and can provide the necessary competition and back-up for the team.
“Nigeria is blessed with excellent players.
“We are happy that all our players are doing well in their respective clubs; Kelechi Iheanacho is now doing well; we have Victor Osimhen firing for Lille and Samuel Chukwueze doing well.
“We also have Samuel Kalu, Moses Simon, the skipper of the team, Ahmed Musa, Troost-Ekong and the host of them soaring high on the continent.”
Ibitoye told NAN that the team would to take all the teams in Africa serious in the World Cup qualifiers, saying that there were no underdogs or minnows in football these days.
He said: “We are not praying for an easy way out of the World Cup qualifiers; the draw for the second phase will come up on Jan. 20, and we intend to take all the matches serious.
“I want to say that there are no longer small countries when it comes to football because countries have stepped up their games and can cause upset for any team.
“We need 100 per cent focus.
“If a country like Madagascar can defeat Niger Republic 6-2 right on their soil, it tells a lot about how the game has developed because Niger Republic is not a bad side on their own.
“Nigeria, as good we are, have yet to defeat any country with that margin of goals away.
“It shows a lot of confidence on the Madagascar team; so, we want to watch our back.”