The Super Eagles will take on Saudi Arabia and Mozambique later this month, and Dele-Bashiru will be looking to get his debut
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) released a list of 25 players on Monday ahead of the Super Eagles’ friendly games against Mozambique and Saudi Arabia later this month, Soccernet reports.
Some of the regular stars like Terem Moffi and Alex Iwobi were left out of the last squad that played Sao Tome and Principe in the final game of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. But they were recalled to the squad this time.
Gent man Gift Orban was omitted this time. However, Jose Peseiro decided to hand Hatayspor man Fisayo Dele-Bashiru his maiden invite to the national team. The 22-year-old attacking midfielder is enjoying a super season in the Turkish Super Lig with four goals and two assists in his first seven games.
Who Is Fisayo Dele-Bashiru?
The 22-year-old attacking midfielder was born in Hamburg, Germany to Nigerian parents, but he has spent most of his life in England. As such, he is eligible to play for any of the three countries. However, he has not played for any of the countries. Dele-Bashiru could probably have gotten called up to the English or German youth sides, but he has not exactly proved himself.
Dele-Bashiru started his football journey at the Manchester City Academy at just eight years of age. But he left in 2020 to search for game time and senior-level football. The 22-year-old eventually penned a deal with lower league side Sheffield Wednesday in July 2020.
Dele-Bashiru registered six goals and five assists in 86 appearances for Sheffield Wednesday before leaving for Hatayspor in the last summer transfer window.
In Turkey, the 22-year-old seems to have come into his own, operating from the attacking midfield position. He has registered four goals and two assists in seven games.
Manchester City Academy coach Ben Wilkinson, who worked closely with Dele-Bashiru, told Yorkshire that the 22-year-old is one of the strongest and most dedicated youngsters he has seen.
“Athletically, he is as good as anything I have ever seen in terms of his power. In a one v one duel, I have yet to see anyone touch him,” Wilkinson told Yorkshire Live.
“Fisayo is very dynamic and very strong. At his best, he is a very, very good player. He’s a box-to-box midfielder. He can get forward and get himself a goal, but he is also more than capable of doing the defensive job.
“The key for him, and something I have spoken to him regularly about, is consistency.”
The 22-year-old has shown all of these qualities at Hatayspor, but he has to keep churning out the numbers consistently. Dele-Bashiru is blessed with pace and is a good dribbler, but his decision-making can be better.
The Super Eagles are yet to get a creative spark in the middle of the park, but Dele-Bashiru may not be able to solve that problem. While his directness and strength could be a helpful tool, he lacks the killer pass.
Nonetheless, it would be interesting to see how Peseiro uses him- if he does- in the games lined up later this month.
Fisayo Dele-Bashiru is the younger brother of Tom Dele-Bashiru, who currently plies his trade in Watford.