What more can Adeleye Adebayo do, Nigeria?November 2, 2021
Hapoel Jerusalem goalkeeper Adeleye Adebayo’s outstanding performance against Maccabi Petah Tikva at the Teddi Malcha Stadium (Jerusalem) has reopened the debate, if it ever closed, of why Nigeria Coach Gernot Rohr has never considered him for the national side.
The 21-year-old made at least a dozen world class saves against some of the Israeli Ligat ha’Al best strikers in Week 8’s game, showing all the attributes of a top ‘keeper with quick reflexes, one-on-one stops, great handling of high balls and some impossible stretches.
There was even a close-range save with his feet from James Adeniyi and Lameck Banda.
The game has certainly made the media wonder what he has to do to earn a place in Rohr’s squad.
Enough can’t be said about his technique and mechanics. Adebayo clearly has been sculpted as a goalkeeper and the results are someone who can play in Israel as essentially a young sophomore in college. His stance is typically very even and his jump set is impeccable. It is because of his sound mechanics that he can overcome his average athleticism to make an extended save. He is set in time with the shot and can move his body in the most optimal way to cover ground. Additionally, he’s never trying to force a play. Instead, he is trusts his skills to time the play and react as necessary.
Even in 1v1 situations, he’ll still play very passive. He won’t rush out there trying to solve it with brashness. He’s calm, playing high percentage areas like a specifically placed wall, instead of a flaming car from 2 Fast 2 Furious.
It should also be noted that Adeleye shows the correct mindset and poise to be playing at such a high level, as much as you can tell watching video. He never looks out of depth or beaten; he looks like he really loves the competition and embraces it. There have been a number of young goalkeepers that come up early only to look overwhelmed, especially after giving up a poor goal.
It is not as if Adeleye lacks international experience, albeit at a lower standard than the demands that would be expected of him. As a youngster he represented his country at Under-17 level.
Ademetan Abayomi has always dreamt of being a sports journalist. His journey began 11 years ago when he created my first sports news page on Facebook, called “Futball Galore” and from there on his passion for sports journalism grew stronger. Now, he is a Sports News Reporter and Feature Writer where he strives to add value and learn as much as he can.