Nigeria senior team manager Gernot Rohr has reiterated that he wants Bayern Munich wonderkid Joshua Zirkzee to play for the Super Eagles but admitted that it won’t be easy for the striker to switch his international allegiance from Netherlands to Nigeria.
Born in Schiedam 19 years ago, Zirkzee qualifies to represent Nigeria through his mother but is provisionally cap-tied to the Netherlands after playing competitively for the European giants at U17 level.
Rohr observed the former Feyenoord youth-teamer at close quarters back in February when he scored on his full Bundesliga debut against Hoffenheim.
Apart from Zirkzee, the Nigeria Football Federation are hoping to secure the allegiances of dual-eligible central defenders Kevin Akpoguma, Felix Uduokhai and Jordan Torunarigha, who all have Bundesliga experience, before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
In an interview with German regional newspaper Mannheimer Morgen, Rohr was asked if Zirkzee would be a candidate for the Super Eagles and he responded: “A preferred candidate, but it’s not that simple. We cannot and will not poach him that must come from the player himself.
“There are a few others in the Bundesliga that apply: Kevin Akpoguma in Hoffenheim, Jordan Torunarigha at Hertha
BSC and Felix Uduokhai in Augsburg. But we can’t get them so easily.”
A former Bayern Munich defender, Rohr was delighted to see his good friend Hansi Flick win the Bundesliga title with the Bavarians for the 2019-2020 season.
“It is admirable what he did and how he steered the cart in the right direction.
“His playing style is very pragmatic, he has strengthened the defense, rehabilitated Müller and gives the boys chances.
“I feel very close to him and congratulated him on the championship by SMS,” he added.
Zirkzee has appeared in nine Bundesliga matches this season, scoring four goals, and debuted for the German champions in the DFB Pokal and UEFA Champions League.