Former Nigeria international Jonathan Akpoborie has heavily criticised Super Eagles left-back Brian Idowu, arguing that the defender isn’t good enough to start for the national side.
Idowu appears likely to retain his spot on the left side of the defence for Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Libya on Saturday, having started eight of the last 10 for Genot Rohr’s side.
However, Akpoborie, who represented Nigeria at the AFCONs of 1992 and 2000, believes it’s time for the 26-year-old to be dropped.
“Idowu did not give me that impression that he can play [left-back] at the World Cup very well and if he cannot do that when we have so many other talented players, then why should he be there?” Akpoborie asked Goal.
“The national team is nobody’s property,” he added. “That’s a position that actually cost us our progress at the World Cup.”
Russia-born Idowu made his debut for Nigeria in a 2017 friendly against Argentina in Krasnodar, and currently has nine caps.
He started all three of the Super Eagles’ matches at the World Cup, although there’s evidence that Rohr is assessing alternative left-back options.
Jamilu Collins was introduced to the squad during the last international break, while Ebube Duru made his debut against Liberia and Ola Aina has been recalled after an encouraging start to life on loan at Torino.
Akpoborie believes that Paderborn’s Collins deserves his chance to replace Idowu.
“Paderborn are sixth [in 2. Bundesliga] and really doing well,” he continued. “The coach [Steffen Baumgart] there is a very good friend of mine.
“We played together and his philosophy is a very good one. If our player is playing there that means he’s good enough, and he is playing in a position that we are very, very bad.”
“I’m not even supposed to be the one to tell the coach that ‘look the boy is good’,” the former forward continued. “If [Collins has] been called up, then maybe [Rohr] acknowledges that he has a problem with that position.”