Nigeria midfield star, Peter Oghenekaro Etebo has been a mainstay in the Super Eagles team over the last couple of years. He’s enjoyed playing high up the pitch for the team.
But in recent time, he’s been changed into a defensive/central midfielder, especially under the reign of manager Gernot Rohr.
Etebo may be a victim of his versatility as a player as his attacking qualities have been underutilized owing to his strength and ability to exercise much energy in midfield.
The former Warri Wolves and Feirense of Portugal attacker needs to be returned to his former attacking position.
That’s where he and Nigeria can profit from his talent as a whole. Following the above statement concerning Oghenekaro Etebo, we evaluate three (3) reasons this should be done anytime soon.
Perfect Link Up To The Attackers
Nigeria’s Etebo is a great player by all standards. Just like we’ve mentioned previously in this write up about his unwavering versatility, but his best place in the team still resides in the attacking midfield.
He’s one of the ideal players to link up the Nigerian midfield to the attack. Etebo has done marvellously well in the final third pushing for productivity upfront.
His attacking quality should not be put to the sword just because we have an Alex Iwobi or the upcoming Ovie Ejaria in the attacking midfield.
While the Super Eagles may have got players like Samuel Chukwueze, Kelechi Iheanacho and Samuel Kalu who can play behind the central striker, Etebo should also be given the freedom to fight for his place at that same position in earnest.
Speed in Transition
Etebo’s speed reveals one of his greatest advantages in going forward as a player. He’s got the impressive stamina to add to the above as he’s difficult to beat (body check) in 50-50 situation.
He can deliver the required speed and energy that Nigeria needs to make things happen in the final third.
He’s a bundle of talent as it’s obvious following his solo (run) goal that secured a 2-1 win for Nigeria against Algeria in the African U-23 Championship far back in Dakar, Senegal.
Nigeria will profit from his pace as it would make him a threat to opposing sides, especially with the talent Nigeria has got going forward in transition.
He got an eye for goal.
The former Stoke City star has an impressive involvement in the attacking third of the pitch. He’s got an eye for goal as he’s thrived many years ago scoring a couple of goals for his former sides Warri Wolves.
He was deployed in the attacking position for the U-23 team known popularly as the Dream Team (VI).
In that stance, he was one of the stand out players in the team, scoring 4 goals to ensure that Nigeria qualified for the Olympic Game in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil.
In the tournament proper, Etebo showed how good he can be in the attacking position as he single-handedly scored 4 goals in Nigeria’s 5-4 win over Asian Champions Japan.
He also scored on his Super Eagles debut as Nigeria drew 1-1 against Mohamed Salah inspired Egypt in Kaduna. He would be better off playing there even ahead of Alex Iwobi.
He’s got the big heart and with the sheer quality to perform the attacking midfield duties up to Nigerian standards at least.