The Super Eagles coach is not ready to waste his time with the German-based player who has not been responding to his phone calls
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi says he is looking beyond Bayer Leverkusen player Sidney Sam in a bid to build a solid midfield for the national team ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualifiers in June.
Rather, he has set his sight on tapping from the abundant talents that abound in the local league and other Nigerians scattered across the globe. And he has already started to identify some of the players.
Speaking to the media, Keshi said trying to track down Sam, who plays for the German Bundesliga side, has been a herculean task and he has decided to allow the player himself make a decision on his future instead of trying to force him to choose the Nigerian side.
“I have called Sam over 15 times and each time, the phone dovetails into voice mail and I have always left a message, but the player has not responded to any of my messages, that to me is shocking and says a lot about his readiness or otherwise to play for the Super Eagles,” said Keshi.
The coach said he was informed by some Nigerians based in Germany that the player may have refrained from calling or answering his calls because he does not speak the English language.
“That also does not jell with me, because there are several Nigerians who speak the German language fluently and if he writes in his native language we can easily infer whether he wants to play for us or not.”
Keshi said that while he has not given up on the player, he has for the meantime decided to look beyond him and try other willing Nigerians, even as he employed some scouts in Germany to work on Sam.