'Can Ekong sit Osimhen, Chukwueze, Lookman down and speak to them?' - Ideye insists PAOK ace not a leader 

Published: June 23, 2024
'Can Ekong sit Osimhen, Chukwueze, Lookman down and speak to them?' - Ideye insists PAOK ace not a leader 

Out of favour Nigeria international Brown Ideye did not hold back in an X space conversation hosted by The Naija Football Conference on Saturday, June 22.

The former West Brom striker touched on a variety of topics including the lack of genuine leaders in the current Super Eagles squad. 

Ideye noted that experienced players Kenneth Omeruo and Ahmed Musa, who were his teammates in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations-winning Super Eagles squad, are not guaranteed roster spots these days. 

The 35-year-old questioned the leadership abilities of William Troost-Ekong, suggesting that the PAOK central defender, who captained the Super Eagles at the AFCON, is only a figurehead. 

Ideye highlighted that Troost-Ekong has no control over influential Super Eagles players such as Victor Osimhen, Ademola Lookman and Samuel Chukwueze.

He insisted that the Super Eagles have not been at their best in recent matches because of the absence of a leader who can instill discipline in the side and keep the players focused, unlike in his time when they had Vincent Enyeama and Joseph Yobo.

"A leader has to be someone who has been in that team for years and years. In the present Super Eagles we don't have those players like Enyeama and Yobo anymore," Ideye stated. 

"Who do you want to give a leader, Ekong? It's not about having the captain's armband. Can Ekong sit Osimhen, Chukwueze, Lookman down and speak to them? No.

"I don't see Osimhen sitting down with Ekong and hear everything he has to say without saying something back."

Ideye cited the ongoing European Championship to strengthen his argument that most seasoned Nigerian players are declared surplus to requirements once they turn 30.

"The Euro is going on, most of the teams have players 34, 35, 36 years playing. Do you think that they don't have young legs to bring in? They have but you cannot buy experience.

"As soon as you turn 30 in Nigeria they will say you are old, they should bring in young players to replace you.

"That is what is lacking in this present Super Eagles, there is no leader in the team. There is a leader outside which is the coach but on the pitch there's no leader and and we are paying dearly for it."

Ideye is currently on the lookout for a new club following the expiry of his contract with Kuwaiti side Al-Yarmouk SC.

Ifeanyi Emmanuel 


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