Enyimba fast rising left full back Ikouwem Udoh has been widely praised as one of the few home based players who deserve to be given a fair shot to push for a spot in the senior national team of Nigeria.
The captain of the Nigeria U20 team has grown in leaps and bounds this season, and his performance at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) and also for the B team of the senior national team in the 2-3 loss to Atletico Madrid in a friendly game further increased talks for his inclusion in the Super Eagles.
Owngoalnigeria.com Mohammed Mowiz Suleman writes on his chances of making the team base on his abilities.
Defending – For starters that is mainly the job of any football player playing in defence and Ikouwem isn’t the best in straight duels as he is rash in tackles and his recovery rate after joining the attack is also part of his lapses.
Attacking – Probably the best Nigeria can boast of at the moment. Assured in possession, decisive in his crosses and also deadly in the box. He is very much a modern day wing back with his close control, skills and dribbling abilities his strong point.
Overall – Working with coach Paul Aigbogun at Enyimba and with the Nigeria U20 team has smoothen his game a bit but the rough edges are still very much there for all to see. His new coach at Enyimba Usman Abdallah has however instill a level of discipline to his positioning when defending but his rashness in tackles is still a worry.
Verdict – A sure bet for the U23s, meaning he should make the step up from the U20s quicker than the rest of his peers. However the Super Eagles is a tall ask with the likes of Brian Idowu and Ola Aina clearly ahead of him. However a chance to train with the Super Eagles to help develop his game further won’t be a bad idea.
Some have compared him to Jamilu Collins of Paderborn. That is way to harsh as the Paderborn man is older and more experienced and exposed than Udoh who has only played two seasons of professional football in his career.