The return of the Blackburn Rovers forward is hailed as a good omen for the Super Eagles ahead of their clash with Rwanda
Nigeria’s recall of the Blackburn Rovers striker Aiyegbeni Yakubu into the national team has been described as a timely act that will help the cause of the Super Eagles as they begin their campaign for a place in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations against Rwanda.
Aiyegbeni had been frozen out of the side since his infamous miss against South Korea at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Coach Stephen Keshi announced his name alongside fellow outcast Sani Kaita in his squad that will prepare for the game in Kigali on February 29.
“I have always believed that the two essential conditions for the invitation of players to the national team are fitness and form,” Ken Ochonogor, a Lagos-based sports presenter told Goal.com.
“The most in-form Nigerian striker in Europe at present is Ayegbeni. So if he is fit and willing, why not play him against Rwanda? His name should even be first on the list – what with the 13 goals he has scored for relegation-haunted Blackburn Rovers,” Ochonogor added.
Former international Yisa Shofoluwe concurred with Ochonogor’s observation.
“Nigeria should be represented by their best players at any point in time,” said Sofoluwe.
The contingent of 11 Europe-based players invited by Keshi will join their counterparts from the Nigeria Premier League on February 26.
The home-based Eagles have also been charged by the Nigeria Football Federation general secretary, Musa Amadu to keep on improving on their performances and to give the foreign-based players a stiff fight for shirts after they defeated Liberia 2-0 in a friendly on Wednesday.
“The win (against Liberia) was a good one and also showed clearly that the NFF and coach Stephen Keshi have not simply been wasting time with the home based players’ residential camping,” said Amadu.
“We are happy with the result, following from the team’s 0-0 draw with the ‘A’ team of Angola in a friendly match in Abuja on January 11,” he added.