Iheanacho, Iwobi ready to lead new Super Eagles, says Yusuf

Coach Salisu Yusuf believes Kelechi Iheanacho (right) and Alex Iwobi will lead the Super Eagles to a glorious new era.

Coach Salisu Yusuf believes Kelechi Iheanacho (right) and Alex Iwobi will lead the Super Eagles to a glorious new era.

Super Eagles’ Caretaker Coach, Salisu Yusuf, has backed the likes of Arsenal youngster Alex Iwobi and his Manchester City counterpart, Kelechi Iheanacho, to play for the country for the next 10 years, reports africanfootball.com

He said he believes Nigeria now have a pool of exciting young talent, who if given the chance will flourish for many years at full international level.

Youngsters Iwobi, 20, and 19-year-old Iheanacho, as well as Wilfred Ndidi (19 years), Kingsley Madu (20 years), Musa Mohammed (19 years), William Troost-Ekong (22 years) and Moses Simon (20 years) were all involved in recent Eagles friendlies against Mali and Luxembourg with Yusuf in charge.

“Iheanacho and Iwobi have hardly started for the Eagles, but I started them in both games and they responded very well with Kelechi scoring in both games and providing assist as well,” he remarked.

“We won the two games we played by playing some good football and with a very young group.
“As much as 90 pre cent of those who featured in those games can play for Nigeria in the next 10 years. We have a base now that we can be developing, maybe two, three players joining up from time to time and you maintain this group to play for the country,” Yusuf said.

He added: “We gave the young players responsibility, we also gave them belief and confidence, and they took it. “Look at Iwobi  – In the first game against Mali, he started and played for 75 minutes and in the second game, he was on for more than an hour, while previously he played 15, 20 minutes for the national team.“You don’t need experience of five years before you are given responsibility as long as you have the quality.”

Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: +2348136370421

  • kayze

    Okay, I do not know this guy that well but this is the kind of rhetoric we need from Nigeria’s coach to get our football back to winning ways – bold, confident, strategic, long term thinking and willing to take some risk. Will he fail at times, make some mistakes? Absolutely. But if many of us forget that Nigeria’s most successful coach Clem Westerhof coached / influenced our national team for continuously for almost 7 years (from 1988 to 1994) and failed to qualify for 1990 world cup, lost in Nations cups of 1990 and 1992 before winning 1994 nations cup and going on to do well at the 94 world cup. But it was similar philosophy I read from this coach that he had – keep same core team and build around their strengths.

  • Akpobome

    Winning two meaningless friendly matches against very weak oppositions is not enough to announce the arrival of a team, let’s wait until they face a formidable opposition before we can rate them. The team I watched against Luxembourg was very ordinary at best, besides, Westerhof was not the most successful coach Nigeria ever had, if you compare his winning percentage and time Stephen Keshi is the most successful coach we have had. He did what took westerhof five years to achieve in just two years with less talent and less support from the NFF.