Leon Balogun and Victor Osimhen were the heroes for the three-time African champions against the Central African Republic on Sunday, but another Nigerian star had fans praising his performance
FIFA, the world governing football body, and a section of the Nigerian fans have been left impressed by the dribbling skills of CSKA Moscow’s Chidera Ejuke, following the youngster’s eye-catching display against the Central African Republic.
Ejuke was introduced for captain Ahmed Musa shortly after the hour mark, with the Super Eagles already leading their opponents 2-0, courtesy of first-half strikes from Leon Balogun and Victor Osimhen.
The 22-year-old started the reverse fixture four days earlier when Nigeria succumbed to an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to the Wild Beasts, a game in which he made minimal impact.
But in less than half an hour in the Japoma Main Stadium in Douala, Ejuke was a live wire, ghosting past defenders at will, with the ball seemingly glued to his feet.
However, he overdid his craft a few times and got some fans angry for his decision-making when teammates were better placed to score.
But many are convinced that Ejuke is a rare gem, similar to a certain Jay-Jay Okocha and that he should be classed as a national treasure and a deadly weapon.
A Twitter user wrote: “This was how JayJay Okocha burst on the scene in 1993. Proper dribbler, we have another gem on our hands.”
This was how JayJay Okocha burst on the scene in 1993. Proper dribbler, we have another gem on our hands.— Obong Itata , Esq. (@ObongItata) October 10, 2021
Another also said: “Victor Osimhen and Leon Balogun Secured 3points for the Super Eagles of Nigeria away from Home, That Boy that Boy that looks like Poco Lee the Ejuke Boy is a National Treasure and should be Protected.”
Victor Osimhen and Leon Balogun Secured 3points for the Super Eagles of Nigeria away from Home, That Boy that Boy that looks like Poco Lee the Ejuke Boy is a National Treasure and should be Protected. # pic.twitter.com/gffkj05uxG— Akpos (@officialsimcard) October 10, 2021
Even FIFA had something nice to say about the Nigerian, followed by a video of the youngster in action: “A superb Chidera Ejuke run.”
A user sees Ejuke as a weapon.
“CSKA Moscow’s Chidera Ejuke is a deadly weapon for Nigeria & he’s gonna be a handful for whatever defence he takes on in Qatar. By far, Nigeria’s best Left Winger. His growth since his days in Norway has been clear for everyone to see,” he wrote.
One Twitter user compared Ejuke’s skills with those of former Nigerian attackers Kalu and Ike Uche.
“Ejuke has the most fanciful footwork this team has seen since the Kalu brothers.”
Ejuke has the most fanciful footwork this team has seen since the Kalu brothers.— Tùka (@TukaLetura) October 10, 2021
Another one could not contain his delight at the sight of the CSKA lad, as he wrote: “Ejuke dey ball abeg.”
More high praises came from another Twitter user: “It has been long we see a player as exciting as Chidera Ejuke,
@Chideraejuke10 in the Super Eagles. He faces players with no fear like he’s taken over farmland Face with tears of joy.”
One user admired the youngster’s creativity. “Ejuke has been by far our most creative player today despite only coming on in the 66th minute,” he said.
Ejuke has been by far our most creative player today despite only coming on in the 66th minute— Home of Nigerian Footballers (@EaglesTrackerNG) October 10, 2021
One of the fans who want Ejuke to improve in the final third said: “Creative without end product is useless; football is about the end product, no big club will purchase Ejuke; if u like him, better advice him to add goal to his game and stop playing to the gallery.”
Creative without end product is useless,football is about the end product,no big club will purchase ejuke,if u like him better advice him to add goal to his game and stop playing to gallery.— Jbr (@Jbr01148822) October 10, 2021
Another advised: “No doubt Ejuke is a baller, but he needs not to be selfish… SE would have scored three goals this second half if he had passed the ball to Osimhen.”
No doubt Ejuke is a baller, but he needs not to be selfish.. SE would have score 3 goals this second half if he had passed the ball to Osimhen.— Mustapha Daniel (@DanAde_) October 10, 2021
Ejuke made his third competitive appearance for the Super Eagles in the matchday four clash against the Central African Republic.
He made his debut from the bench as Nigeria played a thrilling 4-4 with Sierra Leone last November.
Ejike is a talent in the mould of Okocha if we’ll groomed.
He (Ejuke) will score goals later. When he fully developed. Jay Jay Okoacha was playing like that when he started without goals. Jay Jay was very wasteful. I remembered fans were very mad with him. Finally Jay Jay became an icon in football world and run on opponents and defenders to the delight of fans. Ejuke got the talent. He will develop. The only thing I would love to see him play is a CREATIVE /ATTACKING MIDFIELDER. He will take the world football by surprise.
This was how Okocha was playing when he debuted in the Super eagles in 1993. We should excer3cise patient with him as he is still developing .
Meanwhile , I suggest the coaches try him in number 10 position. I believe he will be more effective for his teams and it will do his career better
He might not have scored for the super eagles..but he has scored in Norway and he even scored over ten goals and won the best dribller in Holland even his club knows his weakness is being selfish…some times you need one selfish player to turn things around…All what he needs is making the right decisions at the end….He is good and will become the best so don’t talk down about him that no club will come for him watch out….then you would know while they nicknamed him Hazard and Neymar in one….I don dey follow them s guy teh teh…. Guys watch out for him very soon
Good one. But I think it’s an insult to use the words CERTAIN JAY JAY OKOCHA. Okocha was a legend.
I appreciate all your comments but it is as if we have forgotten that Jay-Jay scored on his debut against Algeria with his trademark free-kick.
Austin JJ O. Had the raw talent to be better than zidane, but he wasted it dribbling aimlessly from 17 years to 28 years, he only played for the team for 4 years 29 to 32, a wasted talent in my opinion.
NIGERIANS ARE NOT WRONG TO DEMAND THAT THIS NEW KID ,STARTS PLAYING FOR THE TEAM FROM THE BEGINNING, or else he will end up like the few aimless dribblers of football history, Austin JJ, denilson,dembele of Barcelona etc , even chiesa of Italy and vincious Junior of Brazil don quick, quick get common sense.
I have known this guy, and. have clamoured for his i invitation
He scores gaols, download his past performances in the clubs he had played for
He has to hone that talent and make it yield results by either scoring goals or passing the ball at the crucial moment to someone else who could produce the goals. We are aware how long it tool Jay Jay to perfect those skills before deploying them towards producing results. Have we forgotten so soon? He wasted so many opportunities during the initial period, blowing away chances that we’re begging. We must not entertain without getting good results. Nigeria is not Spain. No more sterile football…
AN ASIDE: I want to thank Captain Musa for his huge contribution to the Super Eagles. But is it not yet time to rest him? It is beginning to look funny and suspicious, why they keep engaging him. Let him be, let’s move on.
When is Coach Gernot Rohr going to perform and deliver a tried, tested and formidable Super Eagles 1st Eleven side that could compete favourably any day with the likes of Algeria, Senegal and Morocco? He is just a scout, not a coach, if by now he is still undecided about his first team. He is wasting Nigeria’s time and should be paid his dues and relieved of his job. Unless, of course, there is something fishy going on. If we do not, he is going to make Nigerians weep again shortly. There will be heartbreaks…