Dapo Sotuminu, Lagos
Former African Footballer of the year and long term serving captain of the Super Eagles, Nwankwo Kanu, has tipped Eagles stars, Ahmed Musa, to shine like a million stars at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia going by his current form.
Kanu noted that, Musa was slowed down at Leicester City where he was signed for a whopping £16million. “Musa couldn’t play well at Leicester City because it was the club’s moment of transistion after winning the English Premier League title. This is only natural for such situation to happen, which was why he made little impact in the Premier League with Leicester City. Former Arsenal striker believes Musa struggled to settle at City during a time of transition for the team after their title success.
Musa has made a total of 33 appearances and has scored just five goals since his then-record £16million move from CSKA Moscow to City in July 2016. However, he made just one appearance for City last season, scoring in the 4-1 win at Sheffield United in the Carabao Cup in August.
Kanu said: “Musa will explode in the 2018 World Cup with great impact. He is a very good player, his main asset, of course, is his speed,” Kanu told Russian News Agency TASS.
“As for his appearances for Leicester, he got into the team at a difficult moment, it was hard after they won the league, many changes followed. All this affected the career of Ahmed in England.
“But that does not mean that Musa is a bad player. I think he showed his level when he returned to Russia before the World Cup. I consider him one of the leaders of the Nigerian national team because he is already a very experienced player, he played and scored in the last World Cup. In several games he was even the captain of the national team. The Nigerian team certainly needs such a player, he will help grow young players.’” Musa has scored 13 goals in 71 internationals for his country.
In a related development, Kanu also applauded the inclusion of Russia-based Nigerian star, Brian Idowu, in the Eagles final 23-man squad for the World Cup.
The Amkar Perm defender pledged his allegiance to the west Africans despite being eligible to represent Russia and has been listed as part of the Super Eagles team for the global tournament.
Besides helping the team on the pitch, the former Arsenal forward is thrilled that the 26-year-old will also be in hand to assist Gernot Rohr’s men ‘feel at home’ in Russia.
“We are pleased that Brian has chosen Nigeria’s national team, the fans really appreciate him,” Kanu told Russian News Agency TASS.
”He perfectly suits the national team’s playing style. Brian will be able to diversify the team, as he was brought up in another football system, it will only benefit the national team.
”He knows everything about Russia, and this will help the team before the World Cup in Russia.
”Every little thing is important, but we will have a player who knows the country, speaks Russian. He will play at home and help others feel at home.”
On Wednesday, the Super Eagles lock horns with Czech Republic at Rudolf-Tonn-Stadion for their final pre-World Cup game.
They face Croatia in their first match in Russia on June 16 before they take on other Group D teams Iceland and Argentina.
Dapo Sotuminu, Lagos