Keshi was lauded for infusing foreign based with local professionals to form a formidable Super Eagles of our present day
Here are 10 players discovered by Keshi and still relevant to the Nigerian national team
1. Godfrey Oboabona – The former Sunshine Stars defender has cemented his place in the back-four of the Super Eagles defensive line. His impressive showing at the Nations Cup in 2013 spurred his move to Turkish side, Caypor Rizepor.
During the Kehsi era, Oboabona changed the impression people have about people playing in the Nigeria Premier League and his remarkable showing has encouraged other players in the local league to follow suit.
2. Juwon Oshaniwa – A quality defender like Oshaniwa is one talent that shone at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The former Sharks of Port Harcourt player rose to prominence wearing the green and white colours for Nigeria.
He is presently plying his trade in the Turkish League with Hearts, but before then Oshaniwa’s display at the Nations Cup qualifying round opened the door for a move to Israeli club, Ashdod in 2012.
3. Victor Moses – The mecurial player has proven himself over time that he will be the future captain of the national team and was one of the favourite talent Keshi relishes.
His influence of the field of play is similar to that of Jay Jay Okocha that takes responsibilities for the team and the Chelsea attacker has never shown any form of fears for defenders with bigger frames.
4. Emmanuel Emenike – Many will never forget the playing days of the powerful forward. Keshi needed youth and strength likened to the late Rasheedi Yekini and Emenike was the right pick for the Big Boss.
Emenike became an instant hit with national team scoring seven goals in 39 appearances five of them coming at the Nation Cup in South Africa but retired as a result of irreconcilable differences with former coach, Sunday Oliseh.
Nigerians still believe he will make a return someday.
5. Ogenyi Onazi – Onazi broke into the national team in 2012 with the view of adding back up for a creative meidfielder. Keshi in days played both as a defensive midfielder and a central defender, bringing Onazi into lime light was like putting round pegs on the hole it fits.
Onazi’s versatility in midfield became a plus to the Super Eagles and he has been never a big game flop, but a stand-out performer which has made him an instrumental force in the squad.
6. Babatunde Micheal – He might be considered to be a player that has not be enjoying call-ups after he was discovered by Keshi but Micheal’s relevance to the national team is still a fact to reckon with because over time he has matured into a tormentor in chief for opponents.
Micheal recently returned to national team in the friendlies against Mali and Luxembourg showing there is still many years ahead of him to play for the Super Eagles.
7. Brown Ideye – Another returneee to the Super Eagles still has his onions as he posted an impressive peformance last campaign for Olympiakos. In lieu of his performance at the 2015/2016 season, Ideye had always been a player that has played second-fidle to the Uche’s an Martins’ of this world.
However he proved critics wrong by commanding a starting role in the Nigerian winning team of AFCON 2013 assisting Emenike and creating chances also scoring goals.
8. Leon Balogun – Another revelation of Keshi that Nigeria have immensely benefitted from is Balogun and irrespective of the fact that he started from the German second division, he settled quickly into the Super Eagles.
When Leon came into the Nigeria squad as right full-back and he gelled immediately using his pace to support the attack from the right. The Mainz defender is now being used as a central defender which has earned a place in the starting XI.
9. Kenneth Omeruo – After making his senior debut at the age of 20, Keshi’s biggest gamble was letting a young lad marshal Nigeria’s defence line but the Chelsea loanee never failed to make his mark.
Super Eagles defender Kenneth Omeruo has indicated his interest to play for Nigeria at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
There has never been a time Omeruo defended desperately in difficult circumstances instead he confidently handle situations forcing attackers to make mistakes.
10. John Ogu – Ogu still has the prospects of returning to the Super Eagles line-up because his assets are still of high value and will be needed by Nigeria. The midfielder blossomed under the Big Boss and even made him a better player with his eye for goal and his passing abilities.