The one name that stood out when the list of players invited to the senior national team of Nigeria for the friendly games against Saudi Arabia and Mozambique respectively was that of Fisayo Dele-Bashiru.
The Hatayspor of Turkey midfielder was handed his first time call up to the team, four years after his elder brother Tom Dele-Bashiru was preferred ahead of him in the Nigeria U20 team for the 2019 World Cup.
A former trainee at Manchester City, he left the club without a single first team appearance two years ago and after a spell with English Championship side Sheffield Wednesday, he is now in Turkey where he has four goals and three assists in eight games.
He is a technically able and dynamic central player who works box-to-box, offering a well-rounded skill set of defensive robustness and creative vision. Manchester City coach Guardiola was said to have been impressed by Dele-Bashiru’s work-rate and attitude after he first joined up with senior team training three years ago, which is not something to be taken for granted.
Dele-Bashiru looks to be a mobile central midfielder with good reading of the game and link-up play around the edge of the box.
Creatively, he appears to be at his most effective on the right side of central midfield as he combines with either City’s wingers or strikers. He is not afraid to advance beyond the striker as he runs into the channel and plays a one-two with the winger.
Dele-Bashiru is also a player who likes to be available and keep the ball moving by spreading the play, as shown below as he picks up possession with his back to goal and drives forward before passing out to his right.
He is also not one who is shy of taking responsibility when around the edge of the box and it explains why he has found the back of the net four times already this season.