With the sixth qualifier for the 2019 African Cup of Nations coming in March, Nigeria Head Coach Gernot Rohr has been talking about his Super Eagles, specifically about Samuel Kalu.
This past Wednesday, Bordeaux played in the French Cup quarter-final (Coupe de la Ligue) against the Ligue 2 side Le Havre. It was a tight game which was settled a by a single goal in the end, sending Bordeaux through to the next round. It was Samuel Kalu who scored the goal in the 70th minute, a long-range sweeping shot from just outside the penalty area.
In the semi-finals, Bordeaux will face Strasbourg, who defeated Lyon with a score of 2:1. They have a great chance of reaching the final of the League Cup and maybe even winning it as the other semi-final is between Guingamp and Monaco, who are both struggling in Ligue 1 this season.
That was only his third goal in 23 appearances for the French team in all competitions. When he was brought to Bordeaux, he was supposed to replace a player who went to play in Spain but has struggled and only had three starts in the last ten games for his team. This goal, however, might be a good confidence booster.
Even though he is only 21, he has now notched five appearances for the Nigerian senior football team, the Super Eagles and even scored a goal, in the 4:0 win against Libya last year.
His Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has spoken very highly about him after this latest goal. Kalu is a midfielder, playing on the wing for Rohr. He has taken that spot from Moses Simon, who has suffered from a few injuries.
His debut for the Eagles was back in September 2018 and like, we mentioned above, he has played in five games for Nigeria, in four qualifying matches and a friendly. He has also managed two assists to compliment his great start as a Super Eagle.
Rohr stated that Kalu has fit well with the team and has already shown certain qualities like his speed and his defensive capabilities even though he is a winger. The coach mentioned the game against South Africa, in Round 5 of the AFCON qualifiers, which finished 1:1 and sent Nigeria to Cameroon this year.
Samuel Kalu was a part of a 3-5-2 formation where he has shown both his attacking acumen and defensive skills. Kalu passed the ball which the Libyan defender turned into the net to give Nigeria the lead. And he was comfortable running back and covering in defence when needed. This means that he can switch between a wing and wing-back position depending on the formation.
For sure, Samuel Kalu will be on the list of players for Nigeria’s next match and the Cup of nations later in the year.