Why Michael Olise to Nigeria could not materialize despite late call up

Why Michael Olise to Nigeria could not materialize despite late call up

April 26, 2021 0 By Ibiye Ambille

Michael Akpovie Olise, English born Nigeria and France Attacking midfielder and winger who was close to making his super eagles debut but was held back by understandable reasons.


The young promising Attacking midfielder who can also play as a winger was close to receiving an invitation to the Nigerian senior team, but could not do do due to international travel restriction placed at that time.



If the travel restrictions wer not in place, he would have already seen himself in the green and white jersey for the first.


In a bid to represent his country, Michael Olise was already targeted by France and England.


Born in Hammersmith, a district of west London, the English capital, he was quickly drafted into the french U18 youth setup in 2019, despite having England as his country of birth.



In 2021, he is already 19-years old but has decided not to turn his back on his direct African roots despite having England and France as his first and second choice respectively.



How Michael Olise was selected to represent France at the youth level



Olise has up to three countries at his disposal.


His mother is a French-Algerian which made him eligible to represent the french country.


He was handed a call up by the French Football Federation youth coach for the famous Toulon Tournament back in 2019, making his debut Asian side Qatar.


The French Youth team handlers knew what he would bring to the team and for the senior team which fast tracked the process of keeping him.


You all might have seen the high number of non european players representing the french country at international competitions including the FIFA World Cup and the European Championship.

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For England, he would have easily made his way through the youth ranks of the English system. His brother Richard already plays for the English youth setup.


But his brilliance with Reading forced the french side to make the first move.


Choosing Nigeria over the two countries


It came as a surprise to many how Michael Olise opted to represent Nigeria, his father’s native land over an opportunity to play at senior level for England and France.


He is a creative footballer capable of adding spice to his team when he is needed the most.


Choosing Nigeria, he turned down England and France to do so.


At least he was rewarded for his patriotism with an invitation sent to him ahead of the 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifiers against the Benin Republic and Lesotho.



Although he was not included in the list of players that prosecuted the all-important games. Olise was placed on the standby list of players for games that saw Nigeria victors in the two games.



The real story behind the reason to keep him on the standby list


The Super Eagles Franco-German manager Gernot Rohr had explained why the 19-year old could not make it into the team ahead of the games.


According to the coach who has been in charge of the team for over five years, Olise was held back by international travel restrictions placed at that time.

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This was because of the response by the government to further prevent a possible spread of the coronavirus across the country.


“Michael Olise is a player we put on the standby list but he could not come because finally there were some restrictions and he could not travel, like other players,” Rohr said to Elegbete TV Sports via Thisdaylive.


“In France we had Kalu, Moffi could not come, that’s why I took in the last moment local players to replace them.” the manager added.


The stats behind Olise success which triggered the late call up for the Super Eagles


In the 2020/2021 football season, the young attacker has scored a total of six goals in the league.


His overall team player is the main reason behind Gernot Rohr’s push to hand him his first senior appearances.


Style of play – What he is expected to bring


The young promising player who can play as an attacker, midfielder and winger is left-footed with brilliant skills which have helped Reading’s quest for a return to the premier league.


The club failed to make it into the promotion playoffs position in the EFL Championship Premier League promotion playoffs after finishing outside the top six.


With the new season already in sight, Reading is expected to learn from the past mistake in a bid to return stronger for a fight in the race for Premier League promotion in the nearest future.


In total, Michael Olise has made over 69 appearances for Reading since moving from Manchester City in 2016.


He played for Chelsea and Manchester City as a youth development player before switching to Reading.

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For the Super Eagles of Nigeria, the expectations are high. The country need players in the wings and the midfield, even though the availability of Paul Onuachu, Victor Osimhen, Simy Nwankwo had already covered the attack.


This means, Coach Gernot Rohr would just assign roles to him in the midfield or from the flanks


For the country’s needs, the midfield has been a major problem since the departure of John Obi Mikel, who was a team leader during his time with the national team.


The middle of the park requires more players capable of handling it effectively. With the African Cup of Nations in 2021 as well as the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers upon us, Michael Olise would be a valuable asset for Nigeria.


The upcoming fixtures means a lot for the county’s football.


In the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, Nigeria will face Central African Republic, Cape Verde Islands and Liberia. These fixtures would determine whether the country will be heading to qatar 2022 or not.


Michael Olise is expected to make the final squad for the all-important Qualifiers when the FIFA international window opens up in June.


Is he making the squad for the qualifiers? According to the words of the Coach, the player would have already wore the nations green and white jersey. But was held back by international travel restrictions.


However, his official invitation could be from June when the qualifiers behind.


Interesting Read: Nigeria Super Eagles Squad

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