Super Eagles midfielder Joel Obi was less than impressive in Monday’s 1-1 friendly draw with DR Congo.
It is well known that Eagles’ gaffer Gernot Rohr is a big fan of the Torino midfielder. But is there really space for him on the plane this summer? The 27-year-old could miss out on World Cup 2018; especially when there is quality in midfield like Leicester City star Wilfred Ndido and a bit of young meat in Mikel Agu.
Many consider his best position to be as a box-to-box midfielder, especially as he can link up with the likes of John Mikel Obi and Oghenekaro Etebo; well, that’s when he is available and fully fit.
Joel Obi scored five goals in 22 appearances for Torino in the 2017/18 Serie A, to record his most productive season since he made his debut for Inter Milan in the 2010/11 season.
Rohr handed Joel Obi a recall in time for the friendlies against Poland and Serbia in March. The player did enough against Poland, but struggled against Serbia like the rest of the team.
On one hand, Joel offers huge amounts of creativity and fast-flowing football to teams that lack in pace.
Eagles’ strikers should be able to provide beautifully with quality finishing and keeping the ball in the final third. However, in a 4-3-3 formation, the 27-year-old can play central with possibly John Mikel Obi sitting slightly deeper and Victor Moses pushed over a scooch to the left. Many fans would rather opt for a 4-2-3-1 with Odion Ighalo up front. This could have John Mikel Obi, Iwobi and Moses in the attacking area, pushing Joel to the bench.
In conclusion, some fans don’t think the midfield maestro deserves to make the final 23. However, I do believe that he can provide where many other Eagles stars cannot. The 27-year-old has unbelievable creativity as well, something that his teammates rarely show.
Although players such as John Ogu and Mikel Agu have decent chemistry with the Nigeria squad and have good attributes such as passing, shooting and tackling.
Therefore, the decision is up to Rohr on if he feels Joel Obi has what it takes to be in the Super Eagles team to Russia.