Saturday May 01, 2021. 11:00
Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr has explained why Simy Nwankwo is not part of the Super Eagles squad.
The last the FC Crotone striker represented Nigeria was at the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia and he since being ignored by Rohr.
Nwankwo has impressively netted 19 goals from 33 Italian Serie A matches for Crotone thus far this season and he also scooped last season’s Serie B Golden Boot award.
Rohr has made it clear that the 28-year-old should leave Crotone to a more competitive club in order to boost his chances of returning to the Super Eagles squad.
“I know Simy very well, it was me who called him for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He performed well at that competition, after which he played for some time in the Italian Serie B,” Rohr told Europa Calcio.
“I have never forgotten about him and have always observed him, not just now that he is doing so well.
“However, the competition is huge: we have Osimhen, Iheanacho from Leicester and Onuachu from Genk, who is very similar to Simy in terms of features and physical structure, without forgetting Sadiq and Ighalo.
Rohr has preferred Leicester City star Kelechi Iheanacho, Genk centre forward Paul Onuachu, UD Almeria marksman Umar Sadiq and Napoli striker Victor Osimhen ahead of Nwankwo since Al Shabab forward Odion Ighalo retired from international football in July 2019.
“So it is very difficult to be part of the Nigeria attack, we have very good players. As I said before, I have never stopped following his performances,” he added.
“But I believe that next year he must go and play in a club and in a team that is stronger than Crotone. “It will not be equally easy, but he would already have a better chance of returning to the national team.”
Nwankwo has played four international matches for Nigeria without scoring.