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Onyeka’s Arrival At Brentford: Will It Put Ndidi On His Toes In Super Eagles?

Onyeka’s Arrival At Brentford: Will It Put Ndidi On His Toes In Super Eagles?

The arrival of Frank Onyeka at newly promoted English Premier League side, Brentford FC, has been greeted with great joy by Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr due to the fact that it will bring competition to Nigeria’s defensive midfield that has been dominated by Wilfred Ndidi.

Onyeka, who has been described by Brentford coach, Thomas Frank, as a very dynamic player, who is adept as a box-to-box player, will be determined to make a quick impression when the Premier League kicks off in August.

Signed from the Danish club side, Midtjylland on a five-year contract for an undisclosed fee, the Nigerian international has definitely put himself in the spotlight for the senior national team more opportunities ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2022 Africa Cup of Nations.

Recall that at the international level, Onyeka received his first Nigeria call-up in 2020. He was selected for friendly matches last October and made his international debut against Algeria – his only appearance to date.

Onyeka was part of the FC Midtjylland side that won the Superliga in 2017/18, playing 15 games. He helped them win the title again in 2019/20 and the Danish Cup in 2019. He played in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League for Midtjylland, and l left Denmark after making an impressive mark – 123 appearances with 17 goals.

However, questions have been raised by football lovers in the country, on how Onyeka’s arrival will be of great value to the Super Eagles, especially in view of the fact that he plays in the same position with Ndidi.

At 6 feet tall, Onyeka is well built and is very strong. His aggressive pressing style and timely tackles are what really stand him out. He’s something of a ball-winning machine and knows when to launch counterattacks.

Onyeka possesses impressive pace and is able to cover ground quickly, his lateral movement is particularly impressive as he is able to cover the width of the pitch and protect his backline very well. Combining this with his strength and aggression in tackles makes him extremely difficult for attackers to hold off and resist.

Away from his raw physical attributes, Onyeka also demonstrates good intelligence in off-the-ball situations. He is seemingly omnipresent across the pitch at times.

No doubt, Onyeka will be watching Ndidi as he learn the ropes. The Leicester star has established himself in the Premier League and also in the Super Eagles and boasts loads of experience.

However, it will definitely be an interesting duel for both players when The Bees confront The Foxes in the Premier League. And more when it comes down to fight for shirts in the Super Eagles.

Will Onyeka’s arrival at Brentford mean more development for the 23-year-old Ebedei FC product that can bring tough competition for Ndidi in the Super Eagles? Can Onyeka come good enough to end Ndidi’s monopoly of the defensive midfielder role in the Super Eagles, or will the former Nath Boys Academy product stand firm as Gernot Rohr’s first-choice midfield trojan?

Use the Leave A Reply field below and have your say.


By Augustine Akhilomen

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  • A good move. Success at Brentford

  • Raymond 3 years ago

    The more the merrier the presence of quality players in the super eagles will attract more quality players that are eligible to play for Nigeria to the super eagles , players like eze of crystal palace it make super eagles a formidable side come next year world cup

    • Yes we have enough defensive midfield players already….what we need now is an attacking midfielder with alot of skill and creativity like a Craftsman who can create chances for the pacy forward players and wingers…..What we need is pacy playmaker with lots of energy and he should be given a free role on the pitch.

      • Dr. Drey 3 years ago

        Akinkunmi Amoo. That’s your man. Thank me in 2026 for this.

        • Excellent kid….akinkunmi amoo I Know him very well….he is very balanced with a low center of gravity….he can dribble very well and he has a good vision….I heard Leceister are monitoring him for a future move….Even if he is playing in a league that is outside the top5 for the moment that is not a problem because he is Young and has a long way to go….he also need where he can develop by getting game time….I bet with you in the next 3 years maximum akin will be in a top5 league.

          • Kenneth 3 years ago

            Oga, i can’t wait to see him in the SE. watch his games on weekends and he is a delight to watch even with his short stature. He will definitely make waves. Was worried at first when he wasn’t being featured, but i guessed the coach took his time in blending him in with the entire squad

  • Lord AMO 3 years ago

    A welcome development indeed. I feel it’s really etebo that should be worried about his place on the team now. With Onyeka we will have more options tactically. If he comes good we can go with a two defensive midfield look or simply replace ndidi with onyeka late in a game. Or even come up with various midfield combos without sacrificing either offense or defense. I like this move

    • Dr. Drey 3 years ago

      100%. I concur.
      Etebo should be the one to be worried. Onyeka is a more natural option in that position. He cam play as an anchor or as the ball playing DM and has at several times played as the Box-to-Box midfielder at Midjtylland too. Etebo (central) alongside Aribo (right) and Iwobi (left) can be moved further upward in attacking midfield to play behind an Osimhen who is adept at keeping entire back 4s busy for 90 mins, in a more narrow and direct attacking style while retaining potential for midfield dominance and solid defensive cover with dashing wing backs like Zaidu and Tyrone providing the width we need in the attacking third.

      A lot of tactical options are definitely going to be opened up with Onyeka coming around. Spot on

      • Ayphillydegreat 3 years ago

        Suffice to say that we are now experiencing a new SuperEagles creating their own identity. Thank you Dr. Drey very apt. I will like to see him pair up with Ndidi in our next international window. We might see Etebo and Aribo moved higher, but only one of them can be in the first 11 in that scenario. With the trio of Etebo, Ndidi and Onyeka playing in the EPL. Baring injuries or match fitness it will be fascinating to see the trio in the SuperEagles midfield firsthand in the next international window.

  • Gowetok 3 years ago

    Ndidi is not untouchable. For me SE still need a DM midfielder in the mold of Mikel who can move with the ball and also give defence splitting passes. Ndidi is glossly lacking in this key aspect. That’s why many big teams are reluctant to sign him. Ndidi men strength is ball winning. But Mikel did ball winning and distribution very effectively and contributed immensely to Nigeria winning AFCON in 2013.His retirement from international football created a void which we are struggling to fill. So for now for me the S.E midfield is still open for grabs. Ndidi or whoever is not sacrosanct.

  • Ako AMADI 3 years ago

    What will happen in the Africa World Cup qualifiers is that home teams will forge COVID tests to disqualify visitors Super Eagles need a larger squad

  • Kenny 3 years ago

    Etebo is very good and dynamic.

  • Abdul handsy 3 years ago

    To me, this is a good development to super eagles midfield selection. It is an era where we are all set to see the invitation of players in their natural positions not then where you will see tyronne ebuehi and semi Ajayi being mentioned and listed as midfielders.

    I foresee a situation where we are going to see master Ndidi and reliable Onyeka as the two double 4 in rohr’s most preferably 4:2:3:1 formation.

    Onyeka is more adept in this situation just like how Declan rice and kalvin Philips did it with the 3lions at the euro 2020 that just got concluded.
    Just like Ndidi, Onyeka is very good as a ball winner and better in carrying the ball and destributions.

    I also foresee Calvin bassey being invited soon because he is better than Collins as a dependable deputy to Zaidu. Watch Bassey vs arsenal you will understand that he only needs little polishing to become one of the best modern day LB of this time guys.

    My super eagles list for the upcoming AFCON as of today are:
    Leon Balogun
    Troost ekong
    Kelvin Akpoguma
    Chidozie awaziem
    Tyronne ebuehi
    Ola Aina
    Sanusi M. Zaidu
    Calvin Bassey
    Wilfred Ndidi
    Frank onyeka
    Oghenekaro Etebo
    Joseph Aribo
    Alex iwobi
    Ovie Ejaria
    Samuel chukwueze
    Ahmed Musa/ Simon Moses
    Ademola Lookman
    Samuel kalu/chidera ejuke
    Victor Osimehn
    Kelechi Iheanacho
    Umar Sadiq.

    • Dr. Drey 3 years ago

      Hehehehe….Good squad….not too many names to justifiably add or remove. We are still waiting since yesterday for some people to give us their best 24 man list with justifications.

    • Very nice squad with a good tactical breakdown

    • Unique 3 years ago

      Nice squad but I think Alhassan Yusuff is the main threat to Etebo, I personally prefer him to partner Ndidi in the midfield.


      • The young man is now in Belgium with Antwerp. He is getting closer to the big teams. I hope he has an outstanding season which will make teams in bigger leagues to pay more attention to him. He can play in the super eagles right now, as a box to box midfielder. He has pace, good skill and nice passing ability. Only issue is he doesn’t score goals but that can be worked on. He will improve with time.
        Another good midfield is Ifeanyi Matthew, but I dont know where he is playing now.
        There is also obinna nwobodo in goztepe, turkey.
        These are the players we should have sent to play with Mexico with some unknowns like those two defenders Anthony and onovo. We can put together a team of unknown and fringe players and mix them up with some home based players and try them out in friendlies.

    • Dont include players who have not officially switched their allegiance to Nigeria. Its best we focus on the players who are currently available and not those whom we wish were part of the team.

    • find space for Michael Olise I beg. May be u will drag iwobi to wings

  • MAJOR FLEX 3 years ago

    The dead may never die, ndidi is always on his toes, how are you going to put a man that’s already on his toes on his toes? Complete sport, take rime

  • Kenneth 3 years ago

    This is how they will keep hyping all this guys until they come to the main eagles and flop. Well lets see what he has to offer in the EPL first, let him show his skills there against good teams

  • MAJOR FLEX 3 years ago

    And please people should stop saying that mikel at his prime is better than ndidi, drop achievement aside, mikel, can’t bench ndidi, at this current Leicester side, please stop this stupid sentiments, was mikel ever regarded as top 20 dms in the world during his prime? No, but you would here ndidi in the conversation of top 3,4 or 5 max in the world, so put some respect on the name, people are regarding him higher over there than we Nigerians do, this Nigerian sickness, e don tire me

    • I know Ndidi has done very well as DM but he is no way close to Mikel . You are greatly to disrespect Mikel in such a way. If Mikel had been in this Leicester team , they would have been in the Champions league . A player that held and carried the SE for so long , even won the AFCON dominating midfield battles with Great accuracy and intelligence. We haven’t seen Ndidi thwarting attacks from Barcelona and Bayern , but Mikel did it over and over again , even in a champions league final which chelsea were outgunned in talents . Pls respect Mikel, even if Ndidi wins 400 tackles in a season , it means nothing compared to Mikel, if he is not playing for a UCL team , or winning titles with his team . Mikel has a far more balanced game than Ndidi and while we love Ndidi greatly we should never compare him to Mikel

  • Bassey should be invited immediately to the super eagles team and collins should be given free time to improve his game. I even see bassey surpass zaidu if care isn’t taken. The young man is strong and defends very well. He is skillful and has good turn of pace. What is rohr waiting for. Invite him to the team already.

  • Every midfield player in the super eagles has more experience than onyeka so I dont see how he can put anyone on their toes let alone a player like ndidi. If anything, he will be more of a back up to the players we already have because he isn’t adding anything to the team that isnt already there. What the midfield needs are creative players who are pacy, Can create and also score goals.

  • nnamdi 3 years ago

    im not comfortable with onyekas way of marking vry harsh nd can easily prone to penalties which is not that healthy maybe GERNOT ROHR need to work on that from what im seeing NDIDI AND ETEBO DOESNT NEED TO WORRY his integration into the super eagles will take up to 2 to 3yrs

    • Jones 3 years ago

      Best comment so far….Onyeka’s tackles are not as clean as Ndidi’s…..Onyeka is very rough and gives out fouls alot…I watched over 60% of the matches he played in last season (including European games)
      He definitely a good ball playing box-box midfielder

  • For those that are tactically aware, he still has his values to the team without necessarily displacing Ndidi.

    There are moments when a team will need to protect a lead or fortify the defence to see out a match. In such cases, the coach might decide to play two DMs and sacrifice an attacker in a 4-3-2-1 formation(park the bus)

    or when facing a much more stronger side, an ultra defensive minded coach might play two DMs to blot out spaces in front of the defence.Otto Rehagal, The former coach of Greece used this formation to great effects during Greece Euro triumph years back.

    Frank is welcomed to the big league.It is early days, let us not put pressures on him just yet with undue comparism, let him settle. Time and Oga Rohr will decide.

  • Raphael Oyedika.
    The emerging talent.

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