Recently, the focus of burning issue especially on social media has been on Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa. The debate raised and question asked by some ever critical minded Nigerian football fans is if he is still needed in the national team?
Those who raised the question based their argument on the fact that the right winger is clubless and that the national team shouldn't be a place to accommodate such players or rehabilitate those who are struggling to revive their careers either due to long injury layoff or age.
Sound as this argument seems, I wish to state clearly too that Musa is not the first player and captain who will be in this kind of situation in the national team.
Aside the fact that critics should deeply and unbiasedly examine why he is clubless which isn't his fault and not purely because he isn't good enough or he is too old to play in the top flight or he is injured. I think it is or was because he had irreconcilable differences with his former club. But that's not the issue.
As at the time this was happening, Musa was and is still a key figure in the national team. He has never fallen short of expectations from the fans or his teammates or coaches when called upon to don the green and white shirts of the Super Eagles.
Yes, Musa's whirlwind and breezy form may have been suspect lately but it is not because he is not good for the team but because younger players who enjoy more playing time have emerged in the team in players like Samuel Kalu and Samuel Chukwueze among others who could also feature in diverse positions or roles.
And this is the reason why Musa now gets cameo appearances in the national team. But it is not enough to want him out of the national team.
His experience is still needed in the team to encourage the younger and new players. He is now the bridge between the team (players) and the authorities talking about the NFF especially when issues like welfare of the team is being discussed which often creates bad blood between both sides as seen in the past.
Most new or younger players don't know how to go about this hence the presence of Musa is required while it last. Though, William Troost-Ekong is the vice-captain but he is still learning the ropes of leadership as far as the Super Eagles is concerned.
Talking about Musa not being the first to be in this situation, the record is there for all to see. We have once had a captain who was injured (and nursed the injury which eventually ended his career). He was not playing but was accommodated in the team on account or reasons this writer stated or explained above.
I am talking about Daniel Amokachi. At some point towards the end of Stephen Keshi's career, he nursed an injury which equally ended his career but managed it to the USA 94 World Cup.
Interestingly, Musa isn't even injured but is only clubless. Surely he would secure a club soon. If much more older players like John Obi Mikel, Odion Ighalo and even Obafemi Martins could be engaged presently then Musa will get a club. But whether it would be his last club, yours sincerely wouldn't know.
We have a way of frustrating our national team captains out of the team. They hardly quit celebrated. It always ends in controversy and bad blood despite their long meritorious and rewarding service in and to the national team.
Let's allow Ahmed Musa end his reign as Super Eagles captain smoothly and void of controversy. It's just a matter of time. He equally knows that time is not on his side. But he knows when to say goodbye.