Will Bonke use the absence of Ndidi to cement his place in the super eagles?

Circumstances sometimes present opportunities but only the prepared ones make the best use of them.

Innocent Bonke

The above narrative clearly defines Bonke Innocent path to Super Eagles as he grabbed the opportunity provided by the absence of UK based Super Eagles players, the last time the Super Eagles filed out in the 2022 World Cup qualifier.

He is one of the players called up by coach Gernot Rohr to fill up the space created by the absence of all the regular midfielders of the Super Eagles against Cape Verde in Mindelo.

Bonke played as a defensive midfielder taking the place of Wilfred Ndidi and he did a great job.

He provided great cover for the Super Eagles backline and as well as stability for the attacking midfielders to attack easily until the Cape Verdian cracked under the pressure.

Making it a winning debut for him as the Super Eagles put Nigeria's seventh appearance at the FIFA World Cup in good stead as the chase for a ticket for Qatar 2022 continues.

The coach was impressed with his performance in Mindelo as he gave him a special mention after the match.

"We have had Bonke in our scouting team" Coach Gernot Rohr told Journalists after the match.

So it's no surprise that Bonke made a return to the squad as they prepare to face the Central Africa Republic, especially in the absence of Wilfred Ndidi and Oghenekaro Etebo no thanks to injury.

But the 25-year-old defensive midfielder will face stiff competition from Frank Onyeka, Joseph Aribo, who were absent the last time hence it's not going to be an easy walk to grabbing a starting shirt as it was against Cape Verde.

With over 20 games played for Malmo FF in the 2021/2022 season in all competitions, including 9 in the UEFA Champions League.

This is enough preparatory ground for Bonke to launch a fight for another starting role as his chances of getting back to back starters shirt is as high as the other defensive midfielders in the team.

But he still needs to convince the coaching crew by adjusting to the team's tactical plans, translating the coaches strategies and perfect execution on the training ground better than the other contenders.

The starter shirt won't serve a la carte this time, he has some work to do before he can offer the jersey on matchday.

The absence of Wilfred Ndidi has increased the chances of the hard-tackling midfielder laying claim for a place in the starting 11 on Saturday against the Central Africa Republic in Lagos, but he still needs to prove that he truly merit wearing the green white green shirt irrespective of who is on the ground or not.

Will he? Time will tell.

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Olusola Adebayo is a highly-skilled, enthusiastic, self-motivated writer with over 10 successful years of experience.

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