Super Eagles midfielder Ndubuisi Agu, popularly referred to as Mikel Agu has told www.aclsports.com how he came about his adopted name.
The Bursaspor of Turkey midfielder made his competitive debut for Nigeria’s senior national team in September’s 4-0 rout of Cameroon in Uyo, replacing his boyhood hero and captain of the side John Mikel Obi in the second half.
“Normally, the name Mikel came about after Mikel Obi played in the Under-20 World Cup. Then back in my street where I was playing football back in Benin City, Edo State, friends started calling me Mikel.”
“They said we have similar styles and that was how the name came about,” he disclosed.
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In appreciation of his similarities with the Tianjin TEDA midfielder, Ndubuisi describes Obi as his mentor and favourite player especially as both players play in the same position at their respective clubsides.
“He is my mentor. He is a player I like so much, I followed his footsteps. He is my favourite player and we play in the same position. For instance at Chelsea he played at defensive midfield and in Bursaspor I play as a defensive midfielder too.”
After starting in the Super Eagles tour of the French region in late May, Mikel Agu replaced “the real” Mikel in both legs of Nigeria’s tie with Cameroon in early September and the 24-year old is relishing the experience.
“The experience has been good, very good. I’m happy to have played for my country, to wear the green and white Jersey.
“I made my (competitive) debut for the national team. It’s a good feeling made better by our good results which we hope we will finish off against Zambia.”
At Bursaspor, Agu plays alongside his Super Eagles teammate William Troost-Ekong and in their league game on Saturday, the midfielder provided the assist for Ekong to score their team’s only goal in a 1-3 loss at Kayserispor.
He is at the Turkish club on a season long loan deal from Portuguese giants FC Porto. He is however focused on having a good season in Turkey.
“For me, at this point, I will just focus on my club and help them finish in a very good position. For now, all I’m thinking is giving all my best focusing on the Turkish league and Bursaspor. Then we’ll see how it goes in the end.”
Agu was one of the early arrivals at Super Eagles camp on Monday ahead of this Saturday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia qualifier against Zambia.