It was like good music to the ears when Tyronne Ebuehi accepted the call-up to play for the Super Eagles back in 2017.
The promising full-back was born in the Netherlands to a Nigerian father and a Dutch mother. He started his professional career with Dutch top-flight club ADO Den Haag in 2014.
His impressive performances in Eredivisie was enough to convince SL Benfica to secure his signature on a five-year deal just before his involvement at the 2018 World Cup with Nigeria.
Since the move to the Portuguese giants in 2018, Tyronne Ebuehi has failed to make a single official appearance for the first team, becoming almost a forgotten man for both club and country.
There was a growing belief that Ebuehi could be the man to solve the right-back issues of the Super Eagles team, although he started his career as a winger before being redeveloped to a right-back.
That is clear in his style of play as he likes to maraud the right flank at any given opportunity, providing a threat out wide with his direct running and crosses.
He is also solid defensively, strong and calculative of his tackle but gets occasionally exposed at the back. That is not much of a big deal for a modern-day full-back.
Shortly after the World Cup, where he made a brief substitute appearance against Iceland, Ebuehi joined up with his new teammates in Portugal.
He made his bow for his new club in a 1-1 friendly stalemate against Vitoria Setubal, coming on as a 72nd-minute substitute for Andre Almeida.
“I have to work hard, train well, and we will see what happens next. Being in the first team is my main goal, but I have to work hard in training.” Ebuehi stated during his team’s preparation for the 2018-2019 season.
“The quality of my teammates is way above my previous club where I played, but it’s what I expected because Benfica is a great club and has a lot of good players,” he admittedly added.
You could tell from his words that the player was buzzing and determined to succeed in his new surroundings, but unfortunately, things don’t always go according to the way we plan them and disaster could strike at any time.
The then 22-year-old suffered a serious knee injury in a pre-season game against Juventus in July, which ruled him completely out of the 2018-2019 season.
He’s had setbacks and has been playing catch up with his teammates in terms of fitness ever since. This has seen him fail to make an official appearance for Benfica since he joined.
It has been a torrid spell in Portugal for the Nigerian International. Even when deemed fit first-team minutes didn’t come along in the 2019-2020 season as he has had to play for Benfica’s reserve team.
Ebuehi has returned to the Netherlands with FC Twente. A move back to where it all started could be the best option for all parties involved and a chance for the player to revive his career. Still only 24 years old, there is enough time for the player.
Follow Jery Okugbe on his Twitter: @jerryokugbe