The youngster has now played twice for the German youth side after the former Nigeria coach watched him in October 2021
Midfielder Destiny Uche Obiogumu who was touted by former Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr as having qualities that reminded him of John Obi Mikel has been integrated into the Germany national youth team.
Destiny played two games for the German U18s in March against the Netherlands and France.
In October 2021, Soccernet.ng reported that Rohr watched the youngster in an U19 Bundesliga game between Hoffenheim and Bayern Munich where he scored to give Hoffenheim the lead before the game ended 1-1.
Rohr was full of praise for his abilities and told me that he had seen in Obiogumu a player capable of filling the big hole left by Mikel’s retirement from the national team.
But it seems that Rohr’s sack just before the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations put paid to the Super Eagles’ interest in Obiogumu who was surprised by the interest from Nigeria.
Standing at 6’’2, 18-year-old Obiogumu, who was born in Benin City, moved to Germany at age two with his parents. As at when Rohr met him, he had not been called up to any German youth national teams. And he told Rohr that he would be happy to receive a call up from Nigeria.
Rohr told me that it was a good thing that he could be available immediately because he had not appeared for Germany at any level. And then he was relieved of his job weeks later.
That interest from Rohr must have alerted the German authorities who called him up in March once there was an international window.
“I think they (the NFF) did not follow up after my departure,” Rohr told Soccernet.ng. “But congrats to Uche, it’s a pity for Nigeria but it’s good for Germany,” smirked the German-born trainer.
With a host of Nigeria eligible talent turning out for many countries, it could be that Nigeria has lost another potentially great talent.
Just look around and see, the senior German national team already has Karim Adeyemi and Jamal Musiala, England has Bukayo Saka and Fikayo Tomori, Austria has David Alaba, Switzerland has Manuel Akanji, and so on and so forth.
If Obiogumu continues to develop as he has shown this season where he scored seven goals and assisted 10 in 19 U19 Bundesliga matches for Hoffenheim, we might look back to regret the decision not to call him up as soon as Rohr found him.
Perhaps, it is for his own good after all, time will tell.