What Newly Invited Al-Ahly Junior Ajayi Will Add To Super Eagles Attack Line


Al-Ahly of Egypt forward Junior Ajayi is among the set of players handed a first time call up by coach of the senior national team of Nigeria Gernot Rohr ahead of their pre World Cup friendly games later this month.


Ajayi as first reported by Owngoalnigeria.com was among the 28 names called up by Rohr for the games against Poland and later Serbia this month as preparations for the World Cup in Russia starts in earnest for Nigeria.

When Owngoalnigeria.com contributor Mohammed Suleiman wrote a piece making a case for the 24 year old to be called up, many dismissed the write ups with some labelling it a sponsored post to help the striker earn a call up.

Following his call up, we take a detailed look at the way the player who was named in the CAF Best XI players of the year will improve the attack of the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

Predominantly a centre striker, Ajayi has evolved into a pseudo forward who can play behind the main striker, and also on either side of the flanks in attack. Where he has notched up 7 assists for Al-Ahly this season.

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The Super Eagles are in need of a playmaker with the ability to thread the final pass to the main striker, and Ajayi has shown with his performances for Al-Ahly that he can be that man if given the chance to play same role for Nigeria.

Rohr fancies playing a lone striker upfront in attack, and for now Odion Igahlo seems to be his first choice and probably only recognised out and out striker for the role. Although he has used Kelechi Iheanacho in that role in the past, the Leicester City forward isn’t one who has interpreted the role very well.

Ajayi will now doubt interpret the role better than Iheanacho as he showed with his abilities at the U23 AFCON, where he operated and scored twice as Nigeria clinch the trophy to qualify for the Olympics in Rio.

Michael James