Shakhtar Donetsk forward Olanrewaju Kayode is determined to play his way into the hearts of the Super Eagles handlers, saying he deserves a spot in the team due to his sacrifices with the nation’s youth teams.
The 26-year-old who is currently on-loan at Gazişehir Gaziantep FK believes his time to be a key player for the Nigeria national team is at hand, and he hopes his current performances will earn him his fifth cap with Gernot Rohr’s side.
Kayode is enjoying a brilliant season in Turkey where he has netted eight goals and registered five assists in just 14 games for the recently promoted GFK.
He has long been regarded as a prolific forward with successful spells at clubs like Maccabi Netanya and Austria Wien. It was his scoring rate at the latter that eventually earned him a move to Premier League champions Manchester City in 2017.
While he never played for City before signing permanently for Shaktar Donetsk, Kayode believes his pedigree of playing for Golden Eaglets, Flying Eagles and Olympics should earn him a spot in the Super Eagles squad ahead of other attackers.
“Coach Gernot Rohr already knows me. He knows my quality. Nigerians know me,” Kayode told Vanguard Nigeria.
“I started from the Golden Eaglets and just like Mikel Obi, I have proved that I have what it takes to be in the Eagles.
“It is not all the players in the team that have this kind of my high profile. Even Ahmed Musa did not start from the U-17 level. He started in the Under-20, and he is a very good player and a close friend of mine.
“I don’t want to talk much about the coach, but when it is time for him to call me, he will do.”
Kayode made his debut for the senior Nigeria national football team in a friendly tie with Senegal on 23 March 2017.