Since taking over as coach of the senior national team of Nigeria one area Gernot Rohr has made his mark is in the area of convincing Nigerian players born abroad to switch allegiance to the senior national team of Nigeria.
So far he has succeeded with Tyronne Ebuehi, Ola Aina and Noah Joel Sarenren-Bazee who were born in Holland, England and Germany respectively but have all decided to represent Nigeria at senior level.
While Aina and Ebuehi are already full time senior national team players for Nigeria, injuries have stopped Sarenren-Bazee from making his debut for Nigeria since his switch of allegiance a little over a year ago.
In the same vein, the coach has failed in his bid to convince the German-Nigerian trio of Kevin Akpoguma, Jordan Torunarigha and Felix Uduokhai to switch allegiance, same as the Anglo-Nigerian trio of Ademola Lookman, Tammy Abraham and Dominic Solanke.
Speaking on why it’s difficult to have this players commit their future, Rohr while explaining the difficulties he fears in the quest to get Huddersfield midfielder Philip Anyawu Billing switch from Denmark to Nigeria said the country where they are born find it hard to let the players go like that.
“The players have been formed and their academy work was done there (England) – the entire job done there. Now when the player is adult he says goodbye – I go with Nigeria. Not all those cases are pleasant. We have lots of cases like that in France with lots of Algerian players”, Rohr said.
“Lots of players l grew up in France and then they go to Algeria. It’s not easy to accept that.
“But they must really be motivated and excited to come with us. we will not push.”
“We can find players in the midfield, attack and in defence as well.”