When Nigeria’s coach Gernot Rohr launched his squad for the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers towards Liberia and Cape Verde, a specific title was missing-Taiwo Awoniyi.
The 24-year-old has been arguably Nigeria’s greatest striker within the new European soccer season, with 5 objectives in six matches this marketing campaign.
Awoniyi’s younger profession has been a rollercoaster journey. The Nigerian joined Liverpool two years after profitable the 2013 u-17 World Cup with the Golden Eaglets.
Nevertheless, in his six years with Liverpool, he by no means made a single look for the membership, occurring completely different mortgage spells throughout this era.
Awoniyi’s struggles in his mortgage stint at completely different golf equipment have been effectively documented. However he lastly discovered his toes in his final mortgage spell at Union Berlin.
The 24-year-old scored 5 objectives and registered three assists in 21 league video games for the Iron Ones. Though he missed nearly your complete second half of final season, his efficiency was adequate to persuade Union to signal him completely from Liverpool.
Awoniyi has now picked up from the place he left off final season, scoring 5 objectives in six matches for the German aspect, together with three in three Bundesliga matches.
With this sort of type, it was hoped he would get a call-up for the September worldwide break. Nevertheless, regardless of naming a 30-man squad, Rohr couldn’t discover a place for the previous Mainz striker, which shocked followers.
And forward of the match towards Liberia final Friday, Rohr was requested why he didn’t embody the Union Berlin striker in his squad.
In his response, Rohr mentioned: “There are folks calling for Awoniyi and different gamers. We will solely invite three strikers. We have already got Osimhen, Onuachu & Moffi.”
“There’s additionally Kelechi Iheanacho, which makes it tough for Awoniyi. He’s a very good participant, he will certainly get his likelihood,” he added.
Rohr’s reply will not be passable sufficient for Awoniyi’s followers, however for as soon as, the German tactician is correct for leaving the striker out.
Over time, Rohr has been rightly criticised for failing to offer new gamers an opportunity, even in worldwide pleasant video games.
Nigeria performed back-to-back pleasant matches towards Cameroon in June, lacking a lot of their regulars. Nonetheless, Rohr didn’t give sufficient minutes to the brand new gamers he invited for the conflict.
Selections like this present Rohr’s stubbornness, and he received’t change for anybody. However whereas Rohr could have his fault, he was proper to not invite Awoniyi.
It’s because, not like membership soccer, worldwide managers shouldn’t have the posh of adjusting and chopping their squad, particularly when there’s a world match looming.
With subsequent 12 months’s Africa Cup of Nations simply 4 months away, it’s solely logical that Rohr picks the gamers he’s conversant in as there’s no extra time to attempt new gamers, particularly when he’s underneath strain from his employers.
The Nigeria Soccer Federation (NFF) has given the German tactician a mandate to win subsequent 12 months’s Afcon and in addition lead the crew to the 2022 World Cup.
With a goal to fulfill, it’s solely proper Rohr calls up gamers which are conversant in the nationwide crew atmosphere, which makes his job straightforward.
Calling up Awoniyi means the previous Burkina Faso supervisor should discover a approach to combine him into the crew, however time received’t enable that.
It might’ve been completely different had Awoniyi gotten his call-up in March. The Nigerian was tipped to get his first invitation final March for the Afcon qualifiers towards Benin and Lesotho however missed out because of damage.
Additionally, with the crew’s many attacking choices, it was all the time going to be tough for the previous Liverpool star to interrupt into the squad. Awoniyi performs as a centre-forward, which can be the identical function Victor Osimhen performs within the Tremendous Eagles squad.
There’s additionally Terem Moffi and Paul Onuachu, who’ve additionally began the season brilliantly for Lorient and Genk, respectively.
And taking a look at these components, it’s onerous to begrudge or criticise Rohr for leaving out Awoniyi as a result of it’s justifiable.
It could be a tough one to take for the previous Golden Eaglets striker, however with loads at stake for Rohr, it’s solely proper he selects the gamers he’s conversant in.
Nonetheless, there’s no purpose for the Union Berlin striker to really feel dissatisfied, as he’ll get sufficient possibilities sooner or later so long as he stays constant.