Former Nigerian international Emmanuel Amunike has applauded the invitation of Al-Ahly of Egypt striker Junior Ajayi to the Super Eagles.
Ajayi was among the 28 players invited by Coach Gernot Rohr for the Poland and Serbia international friendlies as part of preparation for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Amunike believes that Ajayi’s inclusion in the squad is a good one stating that the player merited the call.
“It’s a good one, the former U-20 coach said in a telephone chat with Brila FM.
The 22-year-old has played in 23 matches scoring eight goals, providing nine assist as the team edges closer to a consecutive league title. Junior Ajayi won the league, cup and super cup since joining Al Ahly. He also led the team to a silver medal in the 2016/17 CAF Champions League.
“Ajayi on the African scene has proven that he’s one of the top striker in Africa. It is left for him to be able to grab the opportunity and convince the technical crew that he merits a place. He’s a good player we all know but through hard work he can break into the team to Russia.”
Speaking on the players who have not made the cut, the former FC Barcelona winger stated that what matters is that the coach has invited players he wants to work test and work with.
“What is important is not who has not been invited or in the squad for the friendlies. What is relevant is that the coach has called the players he would like to work with. What we must concern ourselves about is that these players should not get injured before the world cup proper.”
“Bringing in new players is good, and it’s the players choice to defend their call up. Whoever has been invited must work hard to justify his place.”
“Whatever the coach is doing to ssess the players he has in mind is very welcome development.”
When asked his view on the team’s left-back position, Amunike noted that Elderon Echiejile seems to be the most experienced in the position but has not been fortunate enough to be stable at his club.
Nigeria face Poland in 23 March in Wroclaw before taking on Serbia four days later in the United Kingdom.