Former Super Eagles defence hardman Taribo West has backed the decision of coach Gernot Rohr on to field Leon Balogun against Seychelles and Egypt despite his lack of game time at Brighton and Hove Albion.
Balogun is yet to kick a ball for Brighton since the 2nd of February when he played in the 3-1 FA Cup win over West Bromwich Albion. The game brought his total appearance for the season to ten in all competitions with just 8 matches left to play in the league.
The 30 year old defender has however retained his position as Nigeria’s main man in defence and his combination with William Troost-Ekong known as the ‘Oyibo Wall ‘ was once again decisive in Nigeria’s 1-0 win over Egypt in a friendly game played on Tuesday.
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has severally said only players who are regulars in their clubsides will be considered for call ups, something that made him drop Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho.
West however defended the German coach by saying Balogun for now is still Nigeria’s best defender going into the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, hence the need to overlook his poor form at Brighton and Hove Albion.
“I really think he is the best defender we have at the moment because he adds something extra when he plays. Even the game against Egypt he was impressive and didn’t play like someone who has not played football in over a month “, West said.
“Rohr can’t drop him now but after the Africa Cup of Nations if his club form stays same then the coach will have to make a decision for the good and future of the team. For now he is the best we have”.