Former Super Eagles midfielder Edema Fuludu has blamed the poor state of the domestic league for Nigerian players’ inability to secure contracts with top European clubs.
While Guinea midfielder Naby Keita (Leipzig), Algeria winger Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) and Gabon forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are attracting megabucks deal, Nigerian players are only good enough for the football backwater of China, Turkey, Slovenia, Austria and Ukraine.
Fuludu called for the Nigeria Football Federation and League Management Company to work towards enhancing the domestic league to provide a better platform to improve the players.
“In spite of the effort by the LMC to reposition our league to make it viable, we are still not there yet,” the Tunisia ’94 Africa Cup of Nations winner was quoted by the News Agency of Nigeria as saying on Wednesday.
“These days, most African players are eager to play in the South African league, because the league there has all the vital elements of a good competition.
“Our players who have managed to be considered (by clubs in Europe) are only good enough for second divisions and if they struggle to play for top clubs, they are not among the first-team players.”
The former Julius Berger star added, “A player’s market value depends on how he is playing. How often he plays and the impact he is making in his club, and also for his country are very important.
“It’s a big issue for us, it also has an impact on our national team.”
Fuludu told NAN that the domestic league could do with more viable investors.
He said, “We need more investments in our league so that if our market value goes up, scouts will always come here to get our products. We must make the value of our home team strong.
“If officiating gets better, coaches get trained, a player in Nigeria will probably be offered $200, 000 $ or 100,000 as the case maybe.
“If it’s a player in South Africa, he will earn millions simply because they have invested in their league.”