Bayern Leverkusen’s Sidney Sam
Super Eagles boss, Stephen Keshi, says he’s looking beyond German based star, Sidney Sam in the bid to build a solid midfield for the national team ahead of the Nations Cup and World Cup qualifiers in June.
Rather, he has set his sights 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 from his United States base on Tuesday evening, Keshi said trying to track down Sam, who plays for German Bundesliga side, Bayern Leverkusen, has been a herculean task and he has decided to leave the player himself to make a decision on his future instead of trying to force him to make a decision for 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.”
Keshi, said he was informed by some Nigerians based in German, that the player may have refrained from calling or picking his calls because he does not speak English language.
“That also does not jell with me, because there are several Nigerians who speak German fluently and if he writes in his native language we can easily infer whether he wants to play for us or not.”
Keshi said 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.
One player, Keshi is looking up to is Atletico Beleares of Spain midfield man, Raheem Lawal, who last turned out for Nigeria at the London 2012 Olympics qualifiers in Morocco, where Nigeria failed to make the cut for the games.
“Lawal is young and talented and many Nigerians who have watched him have said he will go places in future, those are the type of talents that we are looking up to in raising a team that Nigeria will be proud of in the near future.”