Former Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr has spoken up about Cyriel Dessers ahead of the player's appearance in another UEFA European Conference League.
Rohr gave Dessers his Super Eagles debut in 2020, playing the Belgian-born striker for the dying minutes of a friendly match. That was to be his first and last game for Nigeria to date, having been ignored in several call ups later.
Dessers is now one of the best performing strikers in Europe, having notched 10 goals to stand out as the leading goalscorer of the maiden edition of the European Conference League. The 27-year-old will be making another appearance in the competition on Thursday with Feyenoord Rotterdam, where he is currently on loan from Belgian club KRC Genk.
Feyenoord will be facing off against Olympique de Marseille at the Orange Velodrome and will be hoping to maintain their 3-2 aggregate lead or extend it after Dessers' fine work to give them the advantage in the first leg of the tie.
His form has led to questions from Nigerian fans about why he was not given much of an opportunity under Rohr who first called him up, and the Franco-German has responded.
Speaking to French media, the 68-year-old said: “He’s a breakthrough striker, very mobile and very fast, who has a good heading game and a good strike with both feet.
“Disciplined. He made an excellent impression (with Nigeria). But we didn’t call him back because he was no longer playing regularly for a club. Last summer, he asked me for advice on the Girondins de Bordeaux. He had had several other offers.”
Death threats sent to fan for crowdfunding Dessers purchase
The striker's loan move to Feyenoord is coming to an end and the financial situation of the Pride of the South have limited them from activating the €4 million purchase option for Dessers.
His parent club Genk have given the club an ultimatum, and fans, led by a local fan Peter van Seventer, begun to crowdfund the move for the Nigerian. They raised €50,000 before FIFA stepped in and declared that crowdfunding for player transfers were illegal.
Van Seventer then chose to donate the money to a charity which led to death threats on his and his family. Speaking to a local Dutch news outlet, Van Seventer said: “Since Monday morning, I suddenly get death threats and threatening phone calls.
“You know, I’m just a simple guy from The Hague who wanted to do something fun. I don’t get it.
“What I’ve heard the last few days is pure nonsense. If you are going to threaten the creator of such an initiative, then you are simply not worthy of the Feyenoord club. Then please go and support another team.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 weeks ago