With 10 goals across all competitions for his Swiss club -FC Zurich, former Nigeria Professional Football League top scorer- Stephen Odey seems to be announcing himself to Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr for a national team call-up
Stephen Odey took his goal tally for the season to 10 goals across all competitions as FC Zürich claimed a 2-0 win against Grasshopper in the Swiss Super League last Sunday.
Zürich dominated the game and had 24 shots on target, one of which was the 84th-minute goal netted by the former Mountain of Fire striker .
The 20-year-old has registered his name on the scoresheet in the three competitions he has played for FC Zürich this term, including the Super League, Swiss Cup and Europa League.
Odey has tallied six goals in the Swiss top flight, one in the Europa League against Bayer Leverkusen and three in the Cup.
Since his transfer to Switzerland in October 2017, Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr has not looked at his direction for an invitation to the national team.
With their win in the derby, FC Zürich climbed to third place in the standings.
In a chat with former Nigerian international Waidi Akani, he is of the opinion that if he keeps on scoring for his club there is no way the Super Eagles coaches would not look at his direction soon.
“With the Nigeria Football Federation planning series of friendly matches for the senior national team in preparation for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in a yet to be named venue, if Odey continues with the rate he is going he might probably get a look at for one of one of the friendly matches ahead of the 2019 AFCON.
“Even if he does not make it to the AFCON, an invitation would be a boost to his morale. He is still very young with several international competitions ahead of him.
“Brazil does it very well, anytime their young players are doing very well, he gets an invitation to the national team for friendly matches just to boost his morale and I think we should be toeing the line too,” the former Super Eagles defensive midfielder said.
Continuing, Akani said, “Odey has always been a hard-working footballer, we all saw what he did while he was with MFM FC while still playing in the local league. If not for his move to Switzerland he would have probably finished as the season’s highest goal scorer.”
Every season, the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) pitches a new star and in 2017, Odey of MFM FC was the star man.
His striking form left opposing teams in tears and sorrow, and placed MFM FC as a major contender for the league title and eventually earned them a continental ticket in 2018.
The sudden resurgence of the club appears to be tied to the magical boots of Odey whose goal count hits 18. This striker did not just drop from the moon; he is a product of the GTBank Principals Cup, a grass root football development programme of Guaranty Trust Bank.
Odey played in the second edition of GTBank-Lagos State Principals Cup where he was the captain of the winning Dairy Farm Senior Secondary School, Agege. He also topped the list of the GTBank 13-man All Star Team of the Year. It is, therefore, no surprise that the little mustard seed is fast growing into an oak.
In January 2017, Odey received the NPFL Bloggers’ Award as the most valuable player of the month. And in the 2017 season, he was the first player to score a hat trick among over 200 players in the league.
His exploit led to his invitation to the Super Eagles CHAN Team doubleheader qualifiers against Benin Republic in August in 2017.
His impressive performance led to his signing a four-year contract with Swiss club-FC Zurich.
Odey joined FC Zurich last year on a four-year deal and will earn an $8,000 a month at the club, thereby becoming the third Nigerian player to represent the club after the late Rashidi Yekini and Ike Shorunmu.
Initially, the former MFM star struggled for game time at Letzigrund during his debut season, often making cameos, scoring three goals in 19 competitive appearances, playing a total of 581 minutes.
However, for the current campaign, Odey has seen his stock rise as he is now the focal point of the Zurich frontline, a result which has seen him net 10 goals in 19 appearances in all competitions, spending 1,494 minutes so far on the pitch.
Odey’s only involvement with the Super Eagles to date came in a friendly with Corsica last year where he featured alongside his former MFM teammate Sikiru Olatunbosun.
He has also been involved with the B Team, playing in the 2018 Africa Nations Championship qualifiers.