Super Eagles Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi will like to have Parma FC of Italy midfielder, Joel Chukwuma Obi for the crucial Brazil 2014 World Cup final qualifier against Ethiopia.
Although, Keshi says he does not know Obi’s current fitness level, but the former Eagles skipper believes that the play-maker has the quality to pick a shirt in his star-studded squad that would tackle Ethiopia in the approaching must win World cup qualifying match.
Eyeonthesports.com reports that Joel Obi, currently on a-year loan at Serie A side, Parma Football Club of Italy from Inter Milan, recently returned to action after about five months injury layoff.
Obi, whose current market value is £4.8m (5.5m Euros), has played just a match since arriving at Parma on 2 September, 2013. According to eyeonthesports.com, Obi has spent about 22 days from his one year loan deal that will expire on 30 June, 2014.
Speaking about Joel Obi’s prowess during a live radio programme on Tuesday, Keshi said Joel Obi is a good player who deserves a place in his squad to next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil.
“I will like to have Joel Obi in for next game, but I have not seen or hear from him”, Keshi said on brilafm, adding; “I have been asking after Joel Obi to know if he is in form. I will need him for our next match because he is a very talented player”.
Joel Obi’s last international match for Nigeria was on 29 February, 2012 when Keshi led the Eagles against Uganda. Shortly after returning from his injury layoff in July this year, Joel Obi sent words from Italy to the country that he would be available for the final Group F World Cup qualifying game against Malawi.
But he was not invited for the tie played at U.J Esuene Stadium in Calabar early this month. Joel Obi is playing for his second club in Italy, having arrived at Inter in 2005 from NEPA Football Club of Lagos, Nigeria.
Joel Obi won the Italian Cup in 2011 with the Nerazzurri, the second year of his professional career. He is expected back at Inter when his current loan spell ends next year to see his contract through till June 2017.