By Johnny Edward:
The exclusion of Kasimpasa’s Nigeria defender Kenneth Omeruo from the Super Eagles squad in the last two games has been down to the impressive performance of Chidozie Awaziem and Uche Agbo for their respective clubs and Omeruo’s slow start to the new European season, a team source has revealed to Completesportsnigeria.com.
Awaziem and Agbo have been active for Nantes and Standard Liege both in the French Ligue 1 and the Belgian top division respectively since the start of the new season.
Agbo has played eight of Standard Liege’s 11 league games while Awaziem has made five appearances for Nantes and he has been crucial to his club recording three straight wins in Ligue 1.
Omeruo on his part had to wait three weeks into the season before making a loan switch back to Turkey from Chelsea. He only made his first start (second appearance) for Kasimpasa last weekend.
It was gathered from a team source that Omeruo is still reckoned with due to his wealth of experience and commitments but he must work harder at club level to get back into Gernot Rohr’s reckoning and dislodge either Leon Balogun or William Troost-Ekong in the heart of the defence.
Omeruo was an unused substitute in his last invitation to the Super Eagles team where they lost 2-0 to South Africa. He was on standby for the World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon in early September but was left out of the squad for the October 7 fixture against Zambia.
“All the players invited are playing actively for their clubs while those not considered are either still adjusting to their new team or not playing regularly,” the source told Completesportsnigeria.com.
“He (Omeruo) was inactive for the first few weeks of the season before his move to Turkey and had to wait another two weeks to make his first appearance. The list was on merit.
“Now that he has started playing he has a good chance of returning but he will face other defenders to reclaim his place in the team.”
Omeruo’s only two appearances for the Super Eagles in the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign were against Zambia and Algeria on matchdays 1 and 2 respectively.