He was not in the equation when Super Eagles Manager, Genort Rohr drew his list for the much anticipated international friendly between Brazil and Nigeria billed for Singapore. Fate however played his part as injury to first teamer, Samuel Kalu meant Efosa Solomon-Otabor would come in as a replacement for the Bordeaux of France winger.
Can Solomom-Otabor cash-in on the circumstance to warm himself to Rohr’s heart?
Though CSKA Sofia of Bulgaria winger Viv Efosa Solomon-Otabor had severally expressed his desire to play for Nigeria in spite of being eligible to star for England-his country of birth but Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr has never looked at his direction.
His dream however came to pass after injury to Bordeaux of France winger, Samuel Kalu knocked him out of the party to the National Stadium, Singapore-venue of the Brazil versus Nigeria clash on Sunday and Solomon-Otabor was invited as his replacement.
The London-born winger currently plies his trade in the Bulgarian Professional Football League for CSKA Sofia and has featured in seven league games for them this season.
Solomon-Otabor, who offers pace and aggression on the flanks can make his international debut when the Super Eagles square up against five-times world champion, Brazil in Singapore on Sunday.
The 23-year-old has roots to former Super Eagles player Thompson Oliha, who is his uncle.
The Winger was born in London to parents originally from Edo State. Victor-Banks Otabor, his father, played for Bendel Insurance before moving abroad.
The energetic winger has played for Birmingham City, Bolton Wanderers, Blackpool and Oxford City in the past.
In 2018, he was offered a chance to play for the England U-21 team after coach Aidy Boothroyd called him up for the 2019 UEFA European U-21 Championship qualifiers against Andorra and Scotland but declined the opportunity.
He is a right footed forward who can operate as a central striker or on either of the wide areas. He is adapting well at in the Bulgarian Professional Football League where his explosive pace is a useful weapon.
Solomon-Otabor’s only individual award was when he won the Birmingham City Young Player of the Season in 2016.
His pace and aggression on the flanks adding to his technical ability have won him praises from several coaches who have tutored him.
“I don’t take decision alone. I have discussed with my parents if the Nigeria Football Federation contacts me to play. But for now, I am ready. My parents want me to represent Nigeria and that is what I will do.” The CSKA Sofia star declared his readiness to defend the colours of the three-time Africa champions.
“I want to be a patriotic and a committed footballer who will never turn his back on the nation when given the opportunity to play for the good people of Nigeria. I believe I have what it takes to make the most out of the opportunity when afforded one. I am ever ready to represent my beloved country should I be invited by the technical handlers.
“I know the competition for places in the squad wouldn’t be easy but I am a fighter who’s always prepared for a battle and I believe I can thrive under the charges of coach Gernot Rohr because he’s a tactical genius who can easily bring the best out of any player.”
“My parents have always helped me to trace my roots and it will be their wish to see me play for Nigeria,” he added.
Solomon-Otabor was indeed invited to train with the country’s football Olympic team in 2015.
The player, however, said he’s elated by the call-up and promised to do his best to stay in the team for a long time.
“It is an honour for me and I am very happy for the call-up,” he said.
“I will learn a lot from the senior players in the team and if am given the opportunity I will definitely give my best.”
“It is not easy to make it into the National team so I am very happy for the invitation.”
How much the London-born winger his able to warm himself in training and match proper (if featured) to the Franco-German Super Eagles tactician remains to be seen.