Five reasons Nigerians should celebrate Ideye’s return to Super Eagles

Brown Ideye, on Wednesday, was rescued from his international wilderness by interim Super Eagles, Salisu Yusuf, who along with the consortium of coaches deemed the Olympiakos attacker vital for the forthcoming friendly games.

Nigeria face Mali and Luxembourg on May 27 and June 1 respectively in two high profile international friendlies to prepare the team for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

And the Eagles caretaker boss invited the former Dynamo Kyiv man alongside 25 others to accomplish this task.

Ideye, 27, returns to the team after a three-year absence during which the team experienced four managerial changes.

Despite being a prominent member of the triumphant squad to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, the former youth international has constantly been criticised for his style of play.

But is Ideye that bad a player? Here we highlight five key attributes of this talismanic forward.

  1. Link-up play

One dynamic aspect of Ideye’s style is his ability to holdup play in order to bring his teammates into the game.

He was the joker at the 2013 AFCON where he constantly linked up with tournament top scorer, Emmanuel Emenike, en route to winning the title.

  1. Goals

With 11 goals in 24 games for Olympiakos, Ideye is joint third top scorer in the Greek Super League. And more fascinating is the fact that the former Ocean Boys star achieved that feat having played fewer games this season.

In Ideye, the Eagles posses a lethal striker who should provide competition and reduce the goalscoring burden on Odion Ighalo.

  1. Versatility

Apart from his superb goal ratio which falls a little below an average of one goal in two games, Ideye also provides depth to the team in attack.

The former Sochaux of France forward could be deployed in any position in attack signifying his versatility.

At the 2013 AFCON, he was used on one of the flanks and drifted into the middle to assist Emenike.

  1. Experience

At 27, Ideye has played over eight years of top flight football across Europe major leagues – kitting for clubs like Neuchâtel Xamax, Kyiv, West Brom, Sochaux and Olympiakos.

The forward has also featured at the highest level in the UEFA Champions League scoring once in six games for the Greek champions this term before playing twice in the Europa League.

Ideye’s experience and exposure will be crucial in a team where the average age is 23.

  1. A champion

Not many Nigerians are lucky enough to be champions with their club sides in Europe – Ideye is one of those few. Olympiakos clinched a record 43rd league title with the former Bayelsa United man featuring prominently.

The striker is in line to win a double with The Legends who are on track to clinch the Greek Super Cup.