Pressure Mounting on Eberechi Eze to Decide International Future
Having joined English Premier League club Crystal Palace in the summer, Eberechi Eze has been one of the Eagles’ standout players. However, with the 22-year-olds international future having yet to be resolved, the Nigeria Football Federation has called for calm. With the youngster being eligible to play for both Nigeria and England, it will not be long until skillful midfielder is forced to decide.
Eze has already represented England at youth level, including appearances for the Three Lions Under-21 side, however Nigeria has made no secret of its desire to see him in Super Eagles colors. Despite this, those in charge have said that they will not “beg” him to make the switch.
Eze was part of the Crystal Palace side which lost 3-0 at home to Burnley in the Premier League over the weekend, with the Eagles being priced at 4.75 with Betway to win away at rivals Brighton next week. Amaju Pinnick, President of the NFF, took time to meet with Eze back in 2019 to try and convince the youngster to pick the Super Eagles.
Why There is Hope for Nigeria Regarding Eze’s Future
However, Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi, has now said that it is in the hands of Eze to make a decision: “His parents, I believe, said he is just starting his career so we should let him establish himself and then they would take it from there. It appears to me that he would want to play for Nigeria, but again, there is a lot of pressure on these players who play in England.”
“There is a lot of pressure on them to play, even if it is once for England. We would keep talking to him if he wants to play; we don’t beg anyone to play for Nigeria. We would just ask him again and if he is willing to, he would be invited. We see him, we think he is a good player. He is a Nigerian, he is entitled like any Nigerian playing anywhere to play for Nigeria.”
What Gernot Rohr Has Said on Eze
The former Queens Park Rangers man took time to settle in the Premier League, however he is now demonstrating why he was so highly regarded. Against Arsenal, Eze created more chances and completed more dribbles than anyone else on the field. Meanwhile, Nigerian national team boss Gernot Rohr has also had his say on the matter.
Rohr stated that: “We talk to him regularly, almost every week and all he wants is for us to help him take the pressure off. The more pressure is put on him, the harder it will be for him to decide.”
Hope was given to Nigerian fans when Eze congratulated Joe Aribo on his goal against Brazil in 2019. However, even if Eze would commit to Nigeria, he will not automatically receive a call up. Akinwunmi mentioned that: “He would have to come to camp and fight for a shirt. A Nigerian is a Nigerian, if you’re entitled by the law to play for Nigeria, then it does not matter. You want the best players because you also want to win.”