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Babayaro thumbs up Keshi on Martins


The former Nigeria player has praised the Super Eagles coach’s decision to leave out the Seattle Sounder star from the national team while making a case for Iheanacho’s call-up

Former Nigeria goalkeeper Emmanuel Babayaro has thumbed up coach Stephen Keshi’s decision not to recall Obafemi Martins to the Super Eagles.

The Seattle Sounders forward has been in splendid form for the MLS side this season, but the former Mali handler said he would give younger players the opportunity to represent the country instead of the ‘weapon of mass destruction’.

According to Babayaro, Keshi’s verdict should be applauded but disagreed on the other stance to leave out Kelechi Iheanacho out due to inexperience.

“Honestly, I support Keshi on the issue of Martins, irrespective of the fact that he is doing very well in the MLS at the moment. I think he is doing well now because he is concentrating on club football alone. It will be a different issue when he starts flying across the Atlantic to play games in Africa,” Babayaro told Punch.

“We should be moving forward. The same argument the coach gave on Martins also applies to some other players in the national team. I never thought a Shola Ameobi should be in the national team.

“He was stagnant at Newcastle United; he was just an average player. There should be a standard in the national team. There are so many names that shouldn’t be there but if you mention them, they will say its personal vendetta.”

He however called for the invitation of Manchester City youth prodigy saying he has what it takes to play for the Super Eagles.

“He (Keshi) is totally wrong on Iheanacho. Football is all about youth. Raheem Sterling is not better than Iheanacho but he is playing for Liverpool and is arguably England’s best player at the moment. I have seen Iheanacho play for Man City and he is as matured as any player can be,” he continued.

“Nigeria comes first before any personal interest. Every Nigerian wants to see the best players invited for games. It’s certain that right now I can’t coach the Eagles because I am not a certified coach and I don’t need the job. But we should be winning with our best players.”

“Iheanacho hasn’t been playing in the Premier League and it simply tells you that Man City wants him to get more experience.

“He is not part of the team at the moment and he has to get more experience and maybe see if he has what it takes to be there,” he concluded.421399_heroa

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