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Salisu Yusuf criticized for not Picking Homegrown Players

Nigerian national team coach Salisu Yusuf has been facing criticism for his failure to pick a large number of homegrown players.

He has been placing his faith on players currently plying their trade in foreign nations. A number of Nigerian international is are currently playing in European football, which is regarded as the pinnacle of the sport. Hence, he seems to be giving preference to these players in the hope of continuing the good work done by the national team in recent seasons.Yusuf took charge of the national team only in April. The team is looking forward to play its first game under Yusuf when they take on Mali in a friendly game towards the end of May.

This game will be immediately followed by another friendly against Luxembourg. Both these games would have given the captain of opportunity to look at some of the new players available for the national team. Since they have just started coming into the eyes of the media, the homegrown players have been unable to secure a move away from Nigeria football as of now. Yusuf has overlooked those players in favour of the established names. However, it appears that Yusuf first wants to stabilise the national team before experimenting with his squad.

“I based my selection on current form. More than 95 % of the invited players are very active in their respective clubs. We have to continue building on the matches against Egypt which everybody said we did not do badly. So if you look at the list, you will notice that only few players are just returning to the team. The rest have been there all the time. So I can assure you that the team will do very well in the two friendly matches,” said Yusuf, whose real test starts in September when the team takes on Tanzania in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.