Anayo Iwuala is delighted to make his debut for the Super Eagles in Saturday’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Squirrels of Benin, reports.Completesports.com.
Iwuala replaced Henry Onyekuru in the 81st minute of the encounter.
Read Also: Five Talking Points In Benin Vs Nigeria 2021 AFCON Qualifier
The Enyimba winger took to the social media to celebrate his maiden appearance for the three-time African champions.
“Debut🇳🇬✅🙏 , he tweeted.
The former KADA City star will hope to make his first start for the Super Eagles in Tuesday’s dead rubber clash against the Crocodiles of Lesotho at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.Copyright © 2022 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.
Iwuala will go far.
congratulations to him, sportscliffs.com
I hope we don’t have another Junior Lokosa episode. Early promises, then fade away in the deserts of Tunisia.
This young guy will surely end up in Europe before the year runs out. Anayo will be a foreign based player anytime from now on. He needs a good agent among the ex-international here within.
New Kid On The Block. Love the confidence. This is what we are saying. Home-based yesterday is about to become foreign-based anytime soon. If we work on developing our local league and making it competitive, there are several Iwualas waiting to be discovered.
Iwuala will be making a grave mistake running to Europe anytime soon. Doing that will only benefit all dem wetin we go chop agents, cos all they know is wetin dem go chop, u Don chop? chopping stick, chop chop, I go chop, when d chop go chop, so so chop; with their ever sliding forward protruding stomach, eyes always looking confused. They should leave talents like this potent world beater to mature well in the local League. Allow him conquer Africa while stabilizing with main stream SE before venturing into Europe. Anayo’s low centre of gravity gives him that very rear balance, mostly absent amongst attacking midfielders of today, that low centre of gravity is like a propellant of speed, power, terrifying shots, dribbles etc. I personally will be happy to see him be an understudy to Iwobi in that NO 10 role. Two more years before venturing into Europe is not a bad idea afterall he looks really young from photos I have seen. But if he listen to those hungry agents, he is sure gonna end up like the Stephen Odeh n others.
I’m happy you young man, we clamored for ur inclusion and you didn’t disappoint, I said it on this forum that you will go far, I reminded us finidi George of 1992 against Burkina Faso. I hope this boy will allow finidi george or tijani Babagibda to be his mentor.
As talented as iwuala is, he would not have been called ahead of more experienced foreign based professionals if it hadn’t been for their forced withdrawal. And I want to believe that if the Super Eagles coach has a full house of fit and available professionals to choose from for qualifiers or for a competition, he will still not make the cut. The best he can hope for is a place in the home based eagles. But if he wants to stand a chance of mixing it with the big boys, the main team, then he will have to play at their level and that means going to Europe and making a name for himself otherwise he will be in the Nigerian league and young boys like olise, moffi, ejaria etc will walk into the team and he will not be heard off again. So if the opportunity of playing in Europe arises he should grab it and work hard to get noticed.
@Sportsfan… I want to believe it is his first season in the NPFL… it will be wise for him continue to develop a further one year and probably try to be involved with the CHAN Eagles before making a move to a European league where he must be sure of gametime first… The likes of Belgium or Netherlands will be a good starting place before more competitive leagues where the pressure and intensity can be quite crushing for any unprepared professional from some foreign league… There are lots of psychological issues that can affect a player and his performance if thrusted headlong in a foreign league and culture without prior readiness… What Iwualu needs is to continue playing regularly whereever he is now… He should be patient for another continental experience with Eyimba, say next year and a possible involvement with CHAN Eagles also… my opinion though. The young man has it in him to grow in leaps and bounds regarding his game… His confidence in the last game sold me to him completely.
@sportsfan, u are 100% correct if we are truly honest, the only reason he was even looked at was due to withdrawals of certain players. I understand the rationale behind people saying he should still stay in 9ja and develop which is great but the truth is he will develop better in Europe than 9ja, thats for sure abd we all know it. What about if his firm dips in tge NFPL or he gets injured, his career might just end God forbid, I suggest if the opportunity comes he should grab it. Afterall soccer is a profession, which person in this forum would be given a humongous raise in salary, secured environment, right facility and infrastructure to develop oneself and decline it. I doubt anyone here would refuse such an offer. We all know if tge likes of Kalu, olise, ejaria, lookman, Simon, moffi, Sadiq etc just to mention a few, were available, Anayo won’t smell the SE who will be dropped for him even though I still think he is talented. His decision making needs to be better and there is no better place to polish it than outside the shores of 9ja. @Jimmyball, u are right in regards to destination for him to develop but I won’t wait if I were him, is it enyimba that would cater for him if he gets a career threatening injury that requires expensive surgery in Europe, is anyone here going to go to his gofundme page and contribute money? Just my thought.
@ Proudly nijja, I will totally disagree with you or anyone advising Iwuala to jump on foreign club opportunity if it comes now. Life 90% follows a pattern and we are everyday seeing how destructive that pattern has been for our young footballers, which if I must mention names, will become a never ending epistle. How did Europe develope those players? you n I know. But back in the days of the Keshis, Eguavoen, Samson siasia, Uche Okechukwu, Oliseh, Finidi Taribo etc, these players got really grounded in the game locally, before venturing into European teams, where they became not only part of the main teams but leaders. That’s how to go Europe; going after effectively proving yourself. Foreign managers / fans are bound to show lots of respect. Anyone thinking, some players yet to be cleared will come and just bench Iwuala may start warming up to be Rohrs enemy. For the Rohr I know only want to see quality and that he has seen in Iwuala. And Rohr enjoy staying loyal with those that fight qualifications with him. Yes Olise, Ejaria, Noni, Lookman my man etc all fantastic players but must first come to show us they can do it better than Iwuala, who many may not know has really impressed Rohr. Rohr bringing him, an homebased on in a match he Rohr, wanted to win tells everything Rohr might have seen about him in Training. Also people must understand just like @ Jimmyball mentioned, playing in Europe has so many challenges for a young player coming from Africa and it’s even gonna be worse with a post convid period. My advice to Iwuala is he should give himself 2more years, work hard on certain grey areas of his game, wherein he is sure to get regular game time playing in the league, CAF cup, CHan and enjoy that homebased SE slot,for which he has shown, he is not just there because of that homebased quota but because of pure quality. Any attempt to jump into being a foreign based now, will seeing losing all such opportunities, as the Rohr I know will not extend invitation to him and he will no longer qualify to play in Chan.
This is really dicey.if u were in his shoes, would u rather stay in a league that owes players,with poor pay,a league that doesn’t run smoothly and isn’t cordinated,just to get invite to super eagles matches where he is likely not going to start or play if all his european counterparts are available for selection or would u rather move to a European league with far better pay,exposure,best training facilities and probably not get invited again
@Glory, I do understand what you are saying but we would agree to disagree on this. Please why do clubs tend to bypass players plying their trade in the NFPL but would rather go for young players in their teens and early twenties? How many players that have waited and developed in the NPFL and then go to Europe have cut it in European clubs? The NFPL is a disadvantage in most cases? Most of the players you would mention that failed in Europe most likely played more than 2 seasons in the NFPL, moreover, if based on 9ja standard a player is “good” that doesn’t mean he will cut it in Europe, they may have better players than tge “good” player from 9ja NFPL. If that player doesn’t meet their requirement, what should the European club do? An European club would never let go a very good player regardless from where they come from. I understand that African (NFPL player) face challenges in Europe, but the challenges they face in 9ja is far worst. its like night and day my bro. Profjef just highlighted some. Security, Healthcare, wages, equipment are just a few. U mentioned the likes of oliseh, siasia, keshi, eguaveon etc, that’s when our league was still good and most European clubs then weren’t really look in the direction of Africa back then bcos they probably thought our football was fir a lack of a better word primitive . Things are alot different now, clubs all over the world come to Africa to look for talent (from academies mind u) as they know they can unearth the next mane, salah, iheanacho, success, ndidi, mikel, etc. @Glory, u know if his form dips, there are other hungry players waiting to pounce even in that NFPL, I hope the fact that Anayo is tge latest sensation in 9ja football doesn’t get in his head and he starts to play big man football in Enyimba bcos he will feel he has arrived since he has played for the SE which is what is most likely going to happen but if he goes to Europe the hunger will be elevated as he know he has to fight even harder to be a starter at a new club, I hope am wrong tho. Moreover, u and I know 15 mins is not enough to judge a player. Like someone else said, ejuke dribbled 7 people including himself from one side if the field to the other side and back to his starting point, was there an output? Zero. Yeah young players have challenges in Europe but they are better able to adapt than older players. The challenges are often times language, loneliness, weather, adaptability etc, but younger players are able to deal with these challenges better. Just my take, I do understand what you and jimmyball said but if I were Anaya, I will leave, not necessarily for the moni but just to improve myself. A person in unilag fir example gets a scholarship to go to Harvard, MIT, Oxford, even one university in South Africa, u go tell that person to forego that and continue in unilag where light no dey, water no dey, prifessor go wan nak u if u be girl, my broda reason am na.
“Please why do clubs tend to bypass players plying their trade in the NFPL but would rather go for young players in their teens and early twenties” you asked.
My answer; Because of our league bad image selfish promoted by hungry agents. But good thing Iwuala is now enjoying SE good image n no longer overshadowed by our league’s bad image..
“Also these set of young players you mentioned, use false documentation of age, experience etc, for they are most likely not in NFF data base, hence no way for foreign clubs to verify. So the agents are at liberty to put anything in favour of a deal for the so called young player.
Again the agents are at a favourable disposition to cheat such young players compared to those already playing in the league
“How many players that have waited and developed in the NPFL and then go to Europe have cut it in European club ?” you also asked.
I will say how many young homebased players have been invited to main stream SE and truly impressed on their debut? Show me one n I will show how prematurely they ventured. . Nobody is saying he should not go foreign but 2 years wait, within which time, he stands a really good chance to showcase his bubbling talent to the world, playing Chan and also being in the AFCon team, which I am convinced he will, is not a big ask.
Iwula reminds me of tijani babaginda at his prime
@ Projjeff, you really think Rohr will drop Iwuala especially with what he has seen of him? Let’s watch. Just one more solid performance tomorrow, then be rest assured he will make the list to next AFCON. Rohr will even wanna use that to tell his critics, he’ s never being against homebased. Then after playing in AFCON, you can be sure Iwuala would have already put one leg firmly on the world cup list. And all the while, Rohr observing him Iwuala, being a stable minded player where he Rohr can then assists in advicing him about moving abroad. Honestly speaking, I initially,doubted Iwuala’s ability but just three moves in that Benin game, confirmed my initial wrong judgement. That is not to say he is there yet but I can confidently tell you that boy is a bomb waiting to explode but the onus lies with him. One wrong decision, all the talks of a great talent ends up like previous young talents
Again @ Profjeff,you talking about him and other local league players being underpaid and being hold. Has he not being surviving since? Will another 2 years looking very rewarding for him, in terms of getting involved with the national teams, be it Chan or main stream SE kill him? There is a time for a planted seed to sprout out of the ground, an impatient farmer will never get his plant to grow as he will impatiently dig the plant out just about when it’s about to grow.
@Glory, u mentioned u were skeptical of Anayo’s skills but was sold after a few moves *am paraphrasing), those moves were after onyekuru had tormented the Benin Rb that he was even injured. Please don’t get me wrong I think the guy is a good player but overhyping the guy just after 15 mins is not enough. What about Mukairu that is doing well in Belgium, I can vouch for him as I haven’t really seen him play but going by people that have seen him play here in the forum, they say he is a real talent. The only reasons GR would invite him again is if other better players like Kalu, lookman, Simon aren’t available, if anayo does something extraordinary on Tuesday for like 70 mins not just 15 mins and just to appease the people calling for homebased players. Just my take.
@ proudly nijja. Take it or leave it Iwuala has come to stay in SE. Rohr’s disgust at homebased players has never bn for lack f quality but their senseless quest for foreign clubs just about when he is about to start working with them. And that will be Iwuala’s undoing if he ventured. He is in a good hand with Rohr and should trust Rohr with his football career n not selfish agents whose only concern is their belly.
If our local clubs offered ADEQUATE HEALTH CARE, emphasis on ADEQUATE, then I would agree with Glory that Iwuala would be better served if he stayed back for another 1 or 2 years.
But with the way things are currently, I must disagree.
For instance, God forbid, if he gets injured, what happens? He likely can’t afford his own healthcare. His club likely offers some healthcare, but it is not adequate.
He could be out 3 to 6 months, languishing somewhere, and that would be the end of his career, if things go wrong.
Meanwhile, at a good foreign club, he will get the health care he needs, plus his salary will continue uninterrupted.
It is easy to say he won’t die if he stays back for a while, from the comfort of your couch. But like everybody else, I want to assume Iwuala has problems that money can solve. He has family who are depending on him. So, unless a local club is ready to compensate him well, it is tough to argue if he decides to go out to greener pastures.
Bottom line, until our league starts offering adequate health care and competitive compensation to players, the exodus abroad will continue. My only advise to Iwuala would be to avoid the WETIN WE GO CHOP agents, as Glory mentioned. Get a solid, professional agent to handle your affairs.
@pompei, game my point exactly. @Glory and most people knows if given that kind of opportunity they will grab it immediately without a 2nd thought. Like u said @pompei and I agree with @Glory in tgai regards, that Anayo should get himself an agent with Anayo’s interest at heart not one who only wants to benefit in tge interim.
My brother, there is a reason why NPFL players flee to places like Gabon, Zambia and Tanzania to go pursue their professional careers. There’s nothing like being woken up on the 25th of every month with the message alert of your salary and bonuses hitting your bank account. Something as basic as that is still a struggle for MOST clubs in the league. The The Nigerian league does not develop players, it stagnates players. If you play 4 straight seasons in the NPFL you are at risk of not being able to develop to the level where you can play in mainstream Europe.
Standard of the league aside, the economy is not smiling either…bad roads, bad healthcare, insecurity, poor power supply, poor systems, poor governance….who will have the opportunity to leave and decline, simply because of a SE call-up that is not guaranteed…?? Can Simon and Kalu be firing in France, Henry firing in Turkey, Ejuke firing in Russia, Samu firing in Spain, plus the likes of Paul Omo Mukairu, Lookman et al still being monitored and waiting on the wings and Iwuala get to feature in a SE game…?? Who the hell are we deceiving…???
Iwuala should move if he gets a good opportunity….places like Sweden, Norway or Turkey are the best places for him to develop now. That’s where he’s gonna unlearn all this street-type footy he’s displaying and learn real football in its undiluted form. He is still very very rough on the edges. He cant even make it to Belgium or Holland yet, no disrespect…..someone even mentioned France I nearly laughed my lungs out….LMAO. Lets not get carried away by the euphoria of a “home-based” player stepping onto the pitch in SE colours in the 80th minute and using his freshness to outrun the tired opponents (whom Onyekuru and Zaidu had already ran ragged all thru the game) yet with zero end product.
Anayo Iwuala may have done well for Enyimba but his national team debut’s performance was below average in my assessments.
Probably,the zeal to impress got the better of him.
We have so many good players in his left attacking midfield position.The likes of Olayinka,Simon,Kalu,Shehu Ojo and Lookman.
The aforementioned players are way ahead of Iwuala who must take the advantage of being a super eagles to move to a good team in Europe,where he will hone his skill effectively to compete with his compatriots in the super eagles.
While I do understand certain concerns. raised about our local League, I vehemently disagree with the idea of jumping into foreign clubs at this moment especially now he Iwuala is enjoying the Gaffers praise. Talks of him losing form, getting injured etc are all mere negative assumptions and that runs contrary to my way; always an Optimist. I see the positive in virtually everything as long as, reason for doing it is for God to be Glorified, never a money worshipper. You have the freedom to believe me or not, doesn’t change a thing. I expect Iwuala to stay positive, n refuse being a pessimist. There is a perfect time for him to go foreign and I 100% will advice it’s not now. 2 years perfect, because he would by then, been thoroughly being involved with the SE; CHAN OR MAIN STREAM. The benefits here is 75% involvement in country’s national team, which makes him a thorough national team player. Again he will be satisfying that homebased quota, saving Rohr lots of unnecessary criticism as well as erasing the notion Rohr doesn’t give homebased chances with main stream SE. Then after 2 years with Rohr and CHAN culminating unto 2022/23, hopefully with world cup experience, Rohr with his huge connection to European clubs can take him along, that I know Rohr will do. I will totally disagree with anyone saying Iwuala is not as good as other foreign based. YOU DONT NEED DO A METHUSELAH WITH A FOOTBALLER TO KNOW A SKILLED PLAYER OTHERWISE LOOKMAN WOULD HAVE BEEN A DISAPPOINTMENT AT FULHAM GOING BY THE LEIPSIG METHUSELAH. Iwuala has that thing in him ( latency of football genius) but like most homebased players, needs those off- field ingredients to succeed in Europe. Ingredients including communication ability, self confidence off the pitch with other peers, sense of belonging to the cream, maturing into differentiating between being a professional footballer n just a footballer etc . Some of these if not all he will get by being a constant member of the national team within next 2 years. The same way, a local league player can get injured in the league n not get treated, same way a foreign based player can have other more deadly life experiences. SO WHAT THEN? BE AN OPTIMIST AND LET YOUR GOD GIVING PASSION DRIVE YOU INSTEAD MONEY MOTIVATION.