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Lookman, Ejaria Await FIFA Clearance To Play For Super Eagles

Lookman, Ejaria Await FIFA Clearance To Play For Super Eagles

Ademola Lookman and Ovie Ejaria are hopeful football govering body FIFA will clear them to play for Nigeria before the end of the year, Completesports.com reports.

The duo were part of the England U-20 World Cup winning squad, but have now opted to represent Nigeria at senior level.

They signed a letter to switch from the Three Lions to the Super Eagles in 2020.

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Hoffeheim of Germany defender Kevin Akpoguma, who represented Germany at youth level was the last player cleared by FIFA to play for the three-time African kings.

Lookman, who is on loan at Fulham from Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig has scored four goals in 28 league appearances for the Cottagers.

Ejaria on the other hand has featured in 33 league games for Sky Bet Championship club Reading with three goals to his name.

The Super Eagles will next face Liberia in a 2022 World Cup qualifier in June.

By Adeboye Amosu

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  • Obidee 4 months ago

    Do u still have space for their positions?

    • Lookman for Iwobi, everyday of the week and twice on Sundays

      Aina. Ekong Balogun. Zaidu

      Etebo/Eze. Aribo


      Kele. Osinhmen

  • Ako AMADI 4 months ago

    With CORONA around for the next 2 years the larger the Super Eagles squad the better. It’s common sense.

  • If this news is anything to go by, then Nigeria soccer fans should be over the moon.I sincerely look forward to seeing Ejaria and Ademola Lookman represent Nigeria at the senior level. Both are extremely talented youngsters with a lot of qualities to improve the SE squad ahead of the next Afcon tournament and the earlier their introduction to the national team the better.

    Lookman is an exciting winger with superior eye for goal. He surely would be a strong addition to the litany of SE wingers in the squad who are lacking in goals and poor delivery in the final third.

    Ovie Ejarias midfield ingenuity: his dribbling, passing range and ability to pick his man with right passes will benefit the strikers and ultimately restore the thrills and frills missing in the SE squad after the exit of Mikel and Okocha.

  • pompei 4 months ago

    Indeed, I look forward to seeing these two in the SE jersey. Lookman should add some much needed bite to our attack with his shooting and crossing ability, not to mention dribbling skills and pace.
    Regarding Ejaria, I wonder what position Rohr will play him in. Before joining Reading, he played as a central midfielder. But at Reading, he has been used as a left winger so far. It’s up to Rohr to decide.
    If we had Olise in the mix, my line-up would be:
    Ebuehi, Ekong, Balogun, Aina/Sanusi
    Olise, Ndidi, Ejaria, Lookman
    Osimhen, Onuachu
    Just a simple 4-4-2 system. It’s worked very well for us so far this year. I wouldn’t want to buck that trend.
    Ndidi will sit in front of the back four and function as a fifth defender when we are defending. When we are up against attacking sides like Algeria, Egypt, Senegal, CIV, then Ndidi will function more as a defender.
    Olise, Ejaria and Lookman will have license to roam the midfield and wreck havoc, with our wingbacks also bombing forward, making runs into the opponents area, and delivering crosses into the box for Onuachu and co.
    Olise cutting in on his left foot and delivering assists and shots on goal will be a joy to watch. Lookman will do the same on the left flank, cutting in on his right. Onuachu and other strikers should prosper with quality crosses coming into the box.
    Two strikers will be chosen for games out of Osimhen, Onuachu, Sadiq and Nacho, based on current form and the opponent’s defensive vulnerabilities. For instance, if we face a team with short center backs, then Onuachu is a must to start. Slow centerbacks, then Osimhen is the logical choice. There will be effective rotation to ensure that the strikers remain fresh, and none gets burned out.
    Whoever does not start will come in later and get a minimum of 20 mins each.
    Iwobi will come in for one of Olise, Ejaria and Lookman in the second half, or as needed.
    That’s 3 subs. We will still have 2 subs left for contingency replacements.
    Third goalkeeper – ? (Perhaps Osigwe or Yakubu)
    Subs for Aina and Ebuehi – Sanusi and Ehizibue. With squad rotation, any one can start, to keep others fresh.
    Subs for Ekong, Balogun – Two out of Awaziem, Akpoguma and Ajayi
    Sub for Ndidi – Shehu
    Subs for Olise, Ejaria and Lookman – Iwobi, Chukwueze, Kalu
    Subs for Osimhen, Onuachu – Sadiq, Nacho
    A 23-man squad list.
    Etebo, Aribo, Iwuala, Simon, Onyekuru, Olayinka, Moffi, Dessers, Calvin Bassey, etc.
    So much quality outside the 23 man list I selected! Happy to shift the selection wahala on Rohr’s head. Over to you coach!

    • @Pompei
      Brilliant contributions!

      In the midfield mix, Etebo would be hard to replace in the present Super Eagles. Peter Etebo bossed the midfield against Lesotho, albeit a less fancied opposition, with his central midfield role, dictating the temple of the game with his timed ball passes and movement. Here’s a player who combines finesse with strong physicality and the ability to switch roles effortlessly. Recall that at Rio Olympic, he was the team’s top goal scorers after Umar Sadiq, operating behind the strikers roaming freely with burst of energy and speed from midfield to the attack with Azubuike Okechukwu dovetailing nicely with Mikel.

      Though Rio Olympic was a long time ago as age has caught up with him and thus inevitably slowed down his game, hence the need for him to take a more central midfield role suited to his game where he’s most productive whilst leaving the attacking midfield options for the likes of Aribo (who like him has an eye for goal when in goalscoring position) or Ejaria who combines intelligent ball passes with goal scoring and the ability to draw fouls with his dribbling in dangerous areas.

      Like Xavi, Oghenekaro’s centre of gravity and ball distribution will allow him to screen the back four to pick up balls to initiate a network of passes that would ensure smooth transition of ball from midfield to attack with Ndidi providing shield and protection with his usual tackles…

      • pompei 4 months ago

        Fidelenny, I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m also a big fan of Etebo. And his performance against Lesotho is a forceful reminder to us all of how good the guy is.
        In making my 23 man list, it was a real struggle for me to leave out Etebo. But I think Shehu is a more natural deputy for Ndidi in the DM role. Unless Etebo can show that he can handle that role. However, if squad lists allow for 24 or 25 players, then Etebo would be my next pick. The alternative would be to drop one of Kalu and Chukwueze!
        Azubuike Okechukwu is another guy I would have considered to be Ndidi’s deputy. In fact, this is a guy that could give Ndidi some serious competition. But for some reason (I suspect his height), Rohr does not take a fancy to him. And with the WCQ coming in June, it’s a bit late to be trying a new DM. Unless we have a friendly, and Azubuike is selected and puts in a heck of a shift, I doubt that Rohr will look his way.
        So, I think the Ndidi deputy spot will be a choice between Shehu and Etebo. If Etebo can handle the DM role, he would be the likely favorite.
        There are so many other quality players that I left out. Honestly, Rohr is in trouble. But this is the kind of trouble every coach dreams of. This is good, good trouble for Nigeria football fans.

  • JimmyBall 4 months ago

    We should relax singing praises of Etebo against a side like Lesotho a little… We defeated Lesotho before we kicked a ball on that day… Let’s wait to see him against Cape Verde in 2months. If we make it out tops of the group, then a more formidable foe will matchup against us… He is a good player no doubt… We will need real trust from him in the coming months. I will however root more for an Ndidi/Shehu double pivot… Some of us no longer want to mention Azubuike Okechukwu because I have not watched him much these days in Turkey and have a feeling Coach Rohr is not his biggest fan. It is safe to say Rohr has done a decent job and belief is coming back gradually to Super Eagles fans… We are behind Rohr and surely, he can do more. Europeans have a way of always organizing things better and Rohr has done just that, truth be told. I will be hoping he improves on late in-game substitutions and learn to trust more players even those perceived as fringe, who often see action in games whether friendly or qualifier. Cheers…

    • Ayphillydegreat 4 months ago

      @JimmyBall I hope your account hasn’t been hacked?? Lmao!! Did you just type this? Well as we can see most of Rohr real haters and sentimental critics have gradually disappeared from this forum. Only the genuine SuperEagles fans are the once that remain. Now I know you’re a real fan. Obviously, every Nigerian player anywhere deserves a chance to play for the SuperEagles, but I believe only the best among them should be selected to represent us at any given time. I doubt if Rohr will ever drop Etebo for Shehu. It’s either Etebo, Ndidi, Aribo or Etebo, Ndidi, Iwobi with their experience from the last AFCON our midfield should be really competitive with Olise and Ejaria possibly coming in to camp before the AFCON. It is not a coincidence that SuperEagles are the undisputed favorite to clinch the AFCON in Cameroon. Something tells me we’re gunning for our fourth AFCON. I may be wrong however, but this SuperEagles can surely return us to the glory days in Cameroon. #FLY LIKE AN EAGLE INTO THE FUTURE#

      • JimmyBall 4 months ago

        I get you @Ayphilydegreat… What we have is a situation of exciting headache. I see Olise as one to nest for the future… I was impressed with shehu against Sierra Leone in Freetown. We all know he is lovely and solid at RFB also… Something tells me Ndidi with his almost perfect defensive midfield knowhow may only just be a bar above Shehu if only we can trust that young man with some more assignments… Unfortunately, we will never know how good he is given that we have almost no friendly games in the near future to try him and see what he brings to the pack if Ndidi will need to sit out for any unforseen reasons… We are in a good place because 97% of the team is fashioned and now fitted! Cheers…

  • _ Tell Me What I Don’t Know! _

    It should be easier to tell the difference between a sheep and a wolf than to separate an update from regurgitation. However, recent reports on various Nigerian media outlets on the protracted process of some dual nationality players to switch allegiance served to offer no new insight on the matter.

    Ademola Lookman, Ovie Ejaria and Ike Agbo are all former England youth Internationals who have been widely reported for very many months now as having filed papers to shed their Lion skins in favour of Eagle feathers but the process is yet to fly to fruition.

    In fact, some fans even question the validity of the claims linking Ademola Lookman to a switch in nationality. If we recall, when someone like former England youth International Chuba Akpom elected to hitch his fading star to the ultra-modern Super Eagles wagon (designed and driven by Gernot Rohr), he went to reputable media outlets like the BBC to make his intentions known.

    High flying at the time Nigeria wanted him the most, Akpom now struggles to make the starting 11 in the English Championship with modest Middlesbrough.

    But his position of where he wants to play his international football is clear even though it is clearly obvious he has a mountain to climb to displace any of the centre forward options when his national switch process concludes.

    And conclusion or near-conclusion was the news I was expecting of Lookman and co but all we hear is that they are still going through the process.

    Perhaps, it would help to know how far along in the process they are and of what may be holding things up and how the NFF plans to expedite things.

    The three players are exciting no doubt and would definitely add value to a Nigeria side clearly buoyed by the outcome of recent matches and their upward climb in the much revered FIFA rankings.

    Lookman brings pace, power and purpose from the flanks whilst his efforts on goal can be pristine and come with precision by and large. That said, he will have his work cut out to displace even the fringe options in that department as that is an area in which the options are ubiquitous for Nigeria.

    So, it should be a labour of love for Rohr to add Lookman to the list of those to scrutinise.

    Ejaria is another who should make the likes of Etebo and Aribo sit up. Etebo’s performance dropped slightly before Nigeria’s match against Ukraine in 2019. The minute Aribo burst into the scene and was realistically going to brush him aside, he sat up and now plays like a born-again midfielder with evidence of moving, passing and shooting with divine tongues.

    Aribo on his part has struggled to reprise his seminal classics displayed against Ukraine and Brazil. A consummate professional and a fan favourite, the weight of Ejaria in the Super Eagles scale should help him (Aribo) redouble his efforts.

    As for Ike Agbo, precedence is not his friend. Reason being, most dual nationality players find it easier to break into the midfield and defence departments of the Super Eagles. The centre forward (and winger) role still seems to tip more in favour of indigenous Nigerian players.

    But his availability will still be a welcome development and more reasons for Osimhen, Onuachu and co. not to rest on their laurels.

    As we look forward to world cup qualifiers, the news we expect next on this matter is either that the players’ nationality switch process have concluded or that the NFF are taking steps to expedite the process.

    Outside that, media outlets should move to more meaningful matters rather than waste readers’ time with meaningless regurgitations.

  • I read an article concerning this two players switch recently. The article said the process of the players switching allegiance is still ongoing. It infers that switching allegiance for English born players who have played for the youth teams usually takes longer time and they cited ola aina who waited 2 years for his clearance as an example, so I dont see why we should question the delay. We should rather be optimistic and patiently wait for the clearance to be complete.
    And as for some individuals take on Aribo’s performances for the Super Eagles lately, I believe his inability to reproduce the quality he displays for his club in the Super Eagles is due to two things: He is either being asked to play more defensively by the coach or he is not yet adjusted to the African style of play. He might be scared of holding onto the ball too long and is trying to avoid getting injured. But his quality is not in doubt. We need him in the team.

  • Collins id 4 months ago

    @Aphyldegreat, everybody here are supereagles fans we all have automatic love for the eagles, being against
    Rohr tactics is not hate and hating Rohr is not hate for the eagles!(you don’t like your sister husband is not hate for ur sister and doesn’t mean you can’t support them during hard time) however there was indeed improvement in the supereagles team,
    My likes don’t criticise rohr ignorantly even when eagles losses neighther will I support his ignorance aswell, most of us here don’t regret attacking his obvious preference for akpoguma over well serie A / premierleague established fullback which cost the team 4 goals lead. his game readings and late/wrong subs coupled with his pessimistic statements towards matches failure to motivate players, these are expected to be criticised by football guru’s like Nigerians. many people attack rohr here bcos of some bullies in the forum that has made the issue childish or political pdp vs apc it attracted more criticism on the gaffer
    I am happy that has passed now, I can see Rohr is ready for the afcon and we will be ready to lift the cup in cameroun.
    I also demand the players to improve individually bcos they are the ones actually playing the game while the coach take blames for their failures,
    that’s why I always attack the players especially the supposed good once.
    In addition to pompei annalisys, I can see you guys are really waiting for oliseh and ejiara, though i am hoping to have them in the team but believe me the only person we need there is either tella or lookman bcos they are premierleague players with experience, ejiara and oliseh cannot bench anybody in that team for now maybe in the future, for Christ sake these are championship players and they are even in seventh position in their league table u can’t ignore that and keep looking at YouTube clips and expect to bench iwobi iheanacho etebo or chukueze for championship players please pompei you need some tactical lectures from me before displaying ur formations, lol. those guys will come and learn from our big boys. the fastest way for rohr to beef up that midfield in preparation for the afcon in cameroun is to call azubuike and azeez to come in as back up for Ndidi and etebo when games demand. they are experienced and have been with Nigeria football since birth.

  • Hassan Tia 4 months ago

    I think new players will add sharpness and fierceness to the Eagles squad and style of playing,Lookman has an eagles’ eye to the goal and has proper crossing to the strikers,has pace ,good dribbling, Oliseh also has aproper passing through the deep of midfield ,like to play through and short passes, Ejaria has also an eagles’ eye of playing proper and execellent passes to the strikers he likes to play through and short passes from the deep of the midfield,also he has good tackling and interception from the defensive midfied ,so strikers like Osimhen,Sadiq Umar,Iheanchu can benifit from these potential of thoes players to score goals.The line-up which SE can be preferred are on goakeeping :- Okoye,Uzoho,Nobel;on defence:- Aina,Ebueh,Troost-Ekong,Balogun,Oboabona,Omeuro,Sanusi,Collins;on midfield:-Ndidi,Etebo,Azubuike,Aribo,Ejaria,Shehu,Iwobi;on attacking:-Osimhen,Onauchu,Sadiq Umar, Iheanatu,Chukwueze,lookman, Samuel Kalu,Ahmed Musa,Terem Mofi and Simon Moses on reserve. Rhor must play an orgnized,depth,pressing ball from the defence to the attackt,he musn’t give the rival any rest to collect his power and stregnth,he must play on rival set-pieces in order to beat,this tactic Osimhen,Onauchu,Sadiq benefit from them,so SE can hold Afco Cup of Nations in Cameroon with this style of play and thoes high quality of players.I feel that SE can do it if they prepare well, put proper tactics and excellent orgnization technically and administerively.

  • pompei 4 months ago

    Collins ID my good man, I no mind to take football lessons from you or anybody wey sabi 🙂
    However, I must say I disagree with you on this one.
    Have you seen Olise’s recent games? Have you seen Ejaria in action recently?
    Why are Bayern looking at Olise, a second division player? Abi you think say dem no sabi anything for Bayern?
    If you really sabi ball as you claim, it will be clear as crystal to you that these guys are real quality.
    Tella that you mentioned is a good winger. But we need to see more of him, before we start comparing him to the likes of Kalu and Chukwueze.
    I keep stressing that squad rotation is what will win us trophies in the future.
    Squad rotation will keep players fresh, injury free, and hungry to perform. Because the players know that the man on the bench is as good as they are, they will sit up and put in their best performance.
    In my line up, I did not start Iwobi. That doesn’t mean Iwobi is discarded or rejected. He can enter in the second half, and he can also be selected to start the next game.
    My desire is to have a squad were the players on the bench are just as good as the players starting. Imagine having Bruno Fernandes and Kevin De Bruyne playing in the same position in a club. The coach’s life don better, no be so?
    I say it again – if we have quality starters and subs in all positions and effectively rotate the squad, we increase our chances of winning trophies.