The curious case of Peter Odemwingie

Nigeria Fans

Peter Odemwingie is back in the Nigeria team after two years out.

Over the years, the Premier League transfer deadline day has brought all sorts of drama. But Peter Odemwingie took it to a whole new level in 2013 when he drove all the way to Loftus Road from West Bromwich Albion in an attempt to force a move in January.

The deal eventually fell through, but with the benefit of hindsight, one can say that it would have been a wrong move for the player as the R's got relegated at the end of the season. Odemwingie returned to The Hawthorns in the midst of criticism and ridicule, and spent the second half of the season making only substitute appearances before being shipped off to Cardiff City last summer.

Odemwingie is a great player with good pace, technique and unwavering commitment as evident on how prolific he has been for both club and country – he is only the sixth player in the Premier League to win two consecutive Player of the Month awards. With his country, Nigeria, he has won an Olympics silver medal and three bronze medals at the Africa Cup of Nations.

However, off the pitch, he has a tendency to go over the top with his comments. Back in 2010 after the AFCON, he controversially openly criticised Shaibu Amodu for his tactics although he (Odemwingie) captained the Super Eagles to a bronze medal. The 32-year-old has also been involved in heated arguments with other national team coaches, such as Berti Vogts, Samson Siasia (twice) and even present Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi (in 2013).

As it is with all flawed geniuses, Odemwingie has to be managed to bring out the best in him as evident during his time at Stoke City. Furthermore, the Super Eagles have looked too thin in that area when Emmanuel Emenike has been injured (for example, at the Confederations Cup). If it will take welcoming an enigma like Odemwingie to better Nigeria's chances at the World Cup, then so be it.

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