Bursaspor of Turkey defender, Shehu Abdullahi got the nod to start ahead of Benfica new signing, Tyronne Ebuehi for the Super Eagles against Croatia, on account of the latter player’s injury-prone nature.
With Ebuehi having copped a bleeding nose in training two days before the Group D opener against Croatia, he inadvertently gave opportunities to Shehu to play himself back into reckoning to start at right-back on Saturday.
There is also the small talk about how ERbuehi bowed out to a groin complaint under pressure against DR Congo in the Eagles’ farewell match, which left the national team’s gaffer, Gernot Rohr opting for the stronger inclined Abdullahi.
Before the game, Shehu failed to cover himself in glory in friendly games ahead of the World Cup, with the team struggling to gel when he is on the pitch, which is a sharp contrast whenever Dutch-Nigerian Ebuehi gets to play.
Many expected Ebuehi to start against Croatia based on his impressive performances in the friendly games, but Rohr named Shehu to start in order to accord the team stability on the right side of defence from the word go at Russia 2018.
” It wasn’t an easy decision but the coach did what is best in the interest of the team at least base on their performance in the training sessions of the team. Abdullahi was poor during the friendly games but it was mainly due to the fact that he was observing the Islamic Ramadan Fast.
”Abdullahi has gotten his form back and in a game like this against a team that love to play from the flanks. A player like Shehu who is naturally a better marker is best to curb whatever danger Croatia want to cause from the flanks,” a credible source explained.