Democracy has come to Super Eagles. When Gernot Rohr picked his line‑up for the World Cup Qualification match against Cape Verde the last time out, several first teamers weren't picked. Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong didn't make it. Instead it was Chidozie Awaziem who played alongside Kenneth Omeruo in the 2-1 victory.
Rohr had never looked more of a meritocrat. Awaziem, however, would already have enjoyed a higher profile had it not been for the vagaries of the transfer market. But he opted to join Alanyaspor in the Turkish Super Lig.
Awaziem comes across as unflappable, but it must be borne in mind that the consolations are considerable for a footballer who has started well in Turkey.
His prominence is a retort to that particular assessment of his worth. There is also sufficient confidence for him to agree that he has established himself with Super Eagles.
The ex Porto defender does bear the handicap of relative inexperience. Appreciative of where he is, the defender has to convince Rohr of his merits.
The centre-back is reassured, too, that Rohr and his staff will go on monitoring him in the Super Lig. Although Alanyaspor are a capable side, it may still be to Awaziem's benefit that he is tested more extensively than defenders in England, Scotland or Spain.
There is a doggedness to Awaziem and when he speaks of an effort to keep showing his quality it is easy to envisage Rohr being pleased by the perseverance.
If the Franco-German sticks with him, he will be subjected to more serious examinations than the one set by Cape Verde. For the moment, plaudits are scarce as the Super Eagles face a double header against Central African Republic.
There is a freshness and sense of fun to the centre-back. Awaziem is enjoying himself and that liveliness of spirit has certainly registered with Rohr. He has the opportunity to perform for the Super Eagles at World Cup Qualifiers.
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