Samuel Kalu (R) of Girondins Bordeaux in action
Monday Jan 14, 2019. 10:15
Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr has described Bordeaux winger Samuel Kalu as an “amazing player”.
The 21-year-old has become one of the breakout stars of the 2018/19 season in France’s Ligue 1, while his sublime goal in a Coup de la Ligue win over Le Havre last week went viral on the internet.
Yet Kalu’s value extends beyond his attacking instincts, with Rohr highlighting the player’s technical depth and ability to play to instructions.
The Nigerian national team manager reflected on Kalu’s time with the Super Eagles and stressed that the youngster adds depth because of his versatility.
This was best demonstrated in November 2018 when he played as a wingback for Nigeria in their 1-1 draw away to South Africa, a result which secured qualification for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals.
“He’s an amazing player. He’s integrated into my team as if he’s always been there. He has intrinsic qualities – he is fast and has ability to defend,” explained the German tactician.
“We played 3-5-2 in South Africa where he scored our only goal, while managing to defend very well.
“He knows how to attack but he never hesitates to fall back to the defence. In the team, he can also play on the left wing when playing 4-2-3-1.”
Kalu is set to feature for Nigeria again in March when they play the Seychelles in a dead-rubber 2019 AFCON qualifier and a friendly with Egypt’s Pharaohs.