ANALYSIS: Why Oliseh should shun Ibe, but get Tottenham’s Dele Alli, By Jide Alaka

Dele Alli; Photo: Dailystar.co.uk

The debate in recent times has been the issue of Liverpool’s Jordon Ibe and the chase of other half castes to decide for Nigeria’s Super Eagles. Ibe has since declared that he wants to play for England, thereby rebuffing the invitation to him cby Super Eagles manager, Sunday Oliseh.

His decision has been met with a crescendo of boos from Nigerian football fans, who believe [me included] that we have better players in his position. A player like Victor Moses comes to mind immediately.

But looking at the present national team setup, the most pressing need for Oliseh is not a winger – we have Moses, Ahmed Musa and Moses Simon to fill the positions on the wings. Oliseh has to find an authentic team conductor in the midfield.

A player of intelligence, guile and strength, who will act as the conduit for the team – whether in attack or in defence. Obiorah Nwankwo played that position in the coach’s first two games and although he did averagely well, Tottenham Hotspurs’ 18-year-old midfielder, Dele Alli, would seemingly do much better in that position.

Player Stats Dele Alli Mikel Obi Ogenyi Onazi
Games 6 [324mins] 3 [72mins] 1 [90mins]
Forward Passes 89 39 26
Key Passes 4 0 0
Chances Created 4 1 0
Pass Completion [%] 76 92 77
Tackles Won 10 0 4
Aerial Duels Won 4 0 0
Total Shots 7 0 2
Goals 1 0 0

Just signed from MK Dons in January, many thought Alli would be farmed out on loan for the 2015/16 season but in just six matches in the Premiership, he has shown wisdom above his years and Roy Hodgson [who was at White Hart Lane on Saturday watching Spurs against Manchester United] would seriously be considering handing the youngster a call-up, even though his Spurs manager, Mauricio Pochettino, has advised that it could be too early.

“It’s the same situation as last season with Harry Kane. Be careful with the younger players, the players who arrive in the Premier League and perform well,” Pochettino told Sky Sports.

“It’s not easy. But again, like last season, it’s not my decision. It’s Roy Hodgson’s decision if he wants to call up Dele Alli. You can see he’s a player that is very mature and shows great quality but always in football it’s step by step and we need to be careful. He will mature.

“He has personality and good character. But it is too much of a rush to talk about bigger steps for him,” Pochettino added.

With Mikel Obi seemingly on a downward slope – at least with Chelsea, the Super Eagles need another conductor and Alli could be the player to fill those big shoes. That is just my thought.


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