Isaac Success says he will play anywhere as a first senior cap for Nigeria looms large.
The powerhouse forward has been named in Gernot Rohr’s 23-man party for the World Cup qualifier against Zambia on Sunday, October 9. Rohr has clearly been impressed by Success’ cameo appearances off the bench against Arsenal, West Ham and Manchester United and used the gap in the squad, created by the absence of Odion Ighalo for compassionate reasons, to blood the 20-year-old.
“If I keep on doing what I am doing, definitely I will be invited,” he told us earlier this month when we asked about his international ambitions. “I will play anywhere in an attacking role: left, right or the middle.”
Success has been earmarked for full international honours since he made a name for himself as an under-17 forward in Nduka Ugbade’s all-conquering side who won the World Cup three years ago.
“Ugbade is like Gianni [the head of sports science at Watford],” said Success about his mentor. “It doesn’t matter if you are smiley or if you are hungry, he just wants you to work. I work but he wants me to do extra. He pushed me to become what I am today. It was a privilege to play under him.”
Now Success is playing under Walter Mazzarri, who is slowly letting the forward off the leash.
“We’re very pleased for him,” said Mazzarri this morning. “We think we helped for him to get a call-up from the national team. He’s a very young player and if he follows our mentality at this club we think he’s going to have a very good future with this team and for his national team.”
The Nigeria squad:
Goalkeepers: Carl Ikeme (Wolves); Emmanuel Daniel (Enugu Rangers); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (IfeanyiUbah)
Defenders: Leon Balogun (Mainz); William Troost-Ekong (Haugesund FC, Norway); Kenneth Omeruo (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Jamiu Alimi (Kano Pillars); Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis Famagusta); Musa Muhammed (Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey); Elderson Echiejile (Standard Liege), Kingsley Madu (SV Zulte Waregem)
Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Chelsea); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor); Wilfred Ndidi (Genk); Nosa Igiebor (Maccabi Tel Aviv); Anderson Esiti (Gent)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester City); Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City); Moses Simon (Gent); Victor Moses (Chelsea); Isaac Success (Watford); Brown Ideye (Olympiacos); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal)