The Amkar Perm defender has received rave reviews to date, but can he be a solution for the Super Eagles?
Brian Idowu has been welcoming plaudits aplenty after his superb performances for Amkar Perm this season, prompting talk of a Nigeria call-up.
But just who is Brian Idowu, and could he be the man to boost the Super Eagles’ backline?
Born in Saint Petersburg to a Nigerian father and a Russian-Nigerian mother, Idowu could be forgiven for having multiple allegiances.
The player has spent the majority of his life in Russia, coming through the youth ranks of Zenit St. Petersburg but ultimately failing to make a first-team appearance for the Blue-White-Sky Blues.
In 2010, he eventually departed the club on a free transfer and under a cloud of controversy, claiming his path to the first team was blocked due to the colour of his skin.
Although he left the domestic giants acrimoniously, he still dreams of a return to his boyhood club before he eventually hangs up his boots.
He subsequently joined Amkar in 2010 after his release from Zenit, but his career stagnated for a few years—with spells with Amkar II and loan spell with Dynamo St. Petersburg—before the resurgence in the Russian Premier League last year.
His rise to prominence has sparked rumours of an imminent call-up for Idowu to the Super Eagles, and that possibility has been mooted by Goal’s Lolade Adewuyi , among others.
There are several reasons why the 24-year-old stands out against some of the other promising defenders under consideration by Gernot Rohr.
For starters, his ability to play in multiple positions has proved to be a major asset.
Primarily a left-back, he’s equally adept at filling in on the right, in the centre and at the base of the midfield.
In his 16 appearances so far this season, he’s featured nine times on the left, three times at right-back, twice in defensive midfield and a sole appearance was made in the centre of the defence—it’s testament to his versatility, and makes him a potentially valuable asset for Rohr
With tactics and systems dominating the modern game, being able to turn out in a variety of positions offers more flexibility—a manager’s dream—and Idowu certainly fits the bill of Mr. Versatile.
He’s an individual with high energy levels, and has received praise for maintaining those levels of natural fitness.
He possesses high levels of endurance which allow him to cover a lot of ground over the course of a game, and his work rate and stamina levels are building blocks for his indefatigable performances that endear him to fans.
He also offers consistency, and isn’t one to be criticized for lacking commitment.
But, can he be the solution the Super Eagles defensive problems?