Super Eagles in need of Obafemi Martins


After a poor display by Nigeria’s Super Eagles in the 2019 AFCON qualifier against Bafana Bafana of South Africa in June which they lost 2-0, confidence of Nigerian football lovers in the team is already at a low point as the heavyweight clash against indomitable Lions of Cameroon looms.

One problem noticed in that defeat to South Africa, was the poor performance of the strikers. Their inability to mount any serious threat against opposing defence was evident for all to see.

Despite, the array of young talents in the team such as Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Osimhen (Wolfsburg) and Kayode Olarenwaju (Rapid Wien), they all found it extremely difficult to find space in the Bafana back line.

While Nigeria fired blanks against  South Africa, Nigeria striker Obafemi Martins has been on a scoring spree for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua. Isn’t it about time we recall the ‘weapon of mass destruction’ back into the Super Eagles fold?

Martins broke to limelight in the colours of Inter Milan of Italy 2001/02 season after brief stint with Reggina in Serie A.

He netted 49 goals for Nerrazzurris in 138 appearances.

Martins has played in 7 countries which includes; England, Germany,  Russia, Spain, United States and now playing in China.

Across the 7 countries the ‘weapon of mass destruction’ scored 124 goals in 321 appearances.

But his recent form for Shanghai Shenhua has suddenly raised questions in the minds of many on if he should be considered for a call up.

The former Levante forward has netted 7 goals in 9 appearances this season for Shanghai Shenhua.

The energetic forward made his debut for Nigeria in 2004 in London against Republic of Ireland and scored on his debut. Since then he has ranked up 41 appearances and netted 18 goals for Nigeria. He last represented Nigeria in the 1-1 draw against Kenya in a 2014 World Cup qualifier under late Stephen Keshi.

Surely his ever bubbling style will peg back the indomitable Lions defence and his quick reaction to loose balls can help punish the slow defence of Cameroon.

Kayode Olarenwaju and Henry Onyekuru were the best Nigeria strikers in Europe last season with over 40 goals between them. But they lack the international experience to lead the attack of Super Eagles.

Kelechi Iheanacho may have scored against Zambia and in the friendlies. But he is not a No. 9 with respect to his talents.

Bringing back Martins might go a long way I helping Nigeria overcome the threat posed by Cameroon.

He definitely has the experience and is in terrifying form at the moment when leagues in Europe are yet to even begin.
The striking position is there for the taking and ‘Obagoal’ ticks all boxes. Over to you Rohr.

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