“He asked me for advice” – Gernot Rohr reveals why he snubbed high-flying Super Eagles striker

The former Nigeria national team handler has warned French side Marseille to be wary of the attacking talents of Feyenoord’s free-scoring forward

Former Girondins Bordeaux manager Gernot Rohr has disclosed why he did not offer Feyenoord striker more international opportunities while in charge of the three-time African champions.

But the Franco-German tactician praised the forward’s goalscoring abilities ahead of Feyenoord’s much-anticipated showdown with Olympique Marseille.

While still the head coach of the Super Eagles, Rohr handed Dessers his first international call-up and debut in October 2019 during Nigeria’s 1-1 friendly draw with Tunisia.

Rohr, however, snubbed the then KRC Genk bench-warmer afterwards as the Super Eagles tamely navigated their Afcon and World Cup qualifying campaigns.

Dessers responded by moving back to the Netherlands in the summer, preferring to join Feyenoord ahead of other interested suitors, including Girondins Bordeaux.

It has been an inspired decision, with the 27-year-old becoming the first player to score double-digit goals in the maiden edition of the Europa Conference League.

Dessers’ ten goals have also powered Feyenoord to the semifinals, where a win or draw away to Marseille could lift the Rotterdammers to their first European final in two decades.

Rohr affirms that he was aware of Dessers’ predatory instincts, but he did not give him more international caps because he was not enjoying playing time at Genk.

But he confirms he remains on good terms with the ex-Heracles ace, even offering him advice about Bordeaux before he opted to go to Rotterdam last summer.

“He’s a breakthrough striker, very mobile and very fast, who has a good heading game and a good strike with both feet,” Rohr told L’Équipe, as per Girondins33.

“Disciplined, he made an excellent impression (with Nigeria, editor’s note).

“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.”

Gernot Rohr was relieved of his role as the Super Eagles Technical Adviser in December, a position he handled for over five years.

The former Gabon head coach is, however, one of the favourites to land the top coaching job of the Mali national team, the Eagles.

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