The West Brom defender started against Lesotho – his fourth consecutive game for the Super Eagles – and the national team head coach has pointed out why the England based centre half was preferred to his Spain based compatriot.
Coach Gernot Rohr has made it clear that the regular playing time that Semi Ajayi is enjoying at his highflying EFL Championship club gave him the advantage over Kenneth Omeruo when it was time to pick the Super Eagles starting XI in Lesotho.
Former Chelsea man Omeruo, a 2013 AFCON winner, has been hampered by injuries this term and has not been involved in four of the last ten games played by Leganes in La Liga.
Udinese’s Troost-Ekong and Ajayi combined to help Nigeria to a 4-2 win over the Crocodiles at the Setsoto Stadium in Maseru on Sunday, and the German tactician afterwards revealed why Omeruo sat on the bench, four months after playing his last game for the Super Eagles against Tunisia at the Africa Cup of Nations.
”Semi is a good partner (for Troost-Ekong) but you know a team can change depending on what the players are doing in their clubs,” Rohr told reporters regarding why Ajayi partnered Eking, as monitored by Soccernet.ng.
”We had some players with injuries, they didn’t play so much, Musa was one of them, he was injured, Omeruo also had the same problem.
”What we have is good competition for the starting positions.”
It would be recalled that Ajayi has started 17 games for West Brom this season – 16 in the EFL Championship and one in the League Cup.