Now that the Super Eagles have qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup
in Russia, the battle for places on the plane to Russia will be fierce. Completesportsnigeria.com’s JOHNNY EDWARD recommends eight players who can improve Nigeria’s World Cup-bound squad…
1. PAUL ONUACHU (FC Midtjylland):
The Super Eagles need another goal poacher who can score many goals.
Paul Onuachu, 23, has all the features to be a big hit with the Super Eagles as the Midtjylland striker has scored 13 goals in 15 appearances, providing five assists so far this term for the Danish club. His form in the current campaign has not gone unnoticed by the Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr, with recent reports suggesting the German coach is considering handing him an invitation.
2. HENRY ONYEKURU (Anderletch):
Henry Onyekuru has continued his brilliant goal scoring form for AAnderlecht following his sseason-long loan move from Everton. Onyekuru who is yet to get his chance in the Super Eagles has notched five goals in 12 appearances this season in all
The nimble-footed forward is one of the most exciting young talents in Europe and possesses speed and versatility, which would be a good addition to the Super Eagles squad. Onyekuru is the second highest scoring Nigerian in Europe in 2017 season, behind Hapoel Beer Sheva forward Anthony Nwakaeme (28 goals 49) with 26 goals in 41 games.
3. EMMANUEL DENNIS (Club Brugge KV):
Quietly racking in the goals in the Belgian Jupiler League, Emmanuel Dennis is currently the third top scorer in the top division with five goals in seven games (eight in 11 games in all competitions). The versatile youngster striker can offer some competition to the attackers to the Super Eagles squad with his pace and trickery on the ball.
4. ANDERSON ESITI (Gent):
The Super Eagles midfield engine room is an area of concern in terms of solidity and creativity and Anderson Esiti would certainly provide energy alongside Ogenyi Onazi, John Ogu and Wilfred Ndidi in terms of that. He will be a better option than Mikel Agu who has been Gernot Rohr’s first choice of the bench in recent matches.
5. MICHAEL BABATUNDE (Qatar FC):
Michael Babatunde needs no introduction to the Super Eagles as he has featured for the team at the football biggest stage, the FIFA World Cup. Babatunde justified his place in the Super Eagles squad the late Stephen Keshi selected for the last edition of the World Cup but a wrist injury kept him out of action the squad for a while. And since Sunday Oliseh and
Gernot Rohr took charge, the 24-year-old has not been offered a chance.
He could be a valuable option in attacking midfield where he has shone playing for his Qatari club Qatar FC.
6. KENNETH OMERUO (Kasimpasa):
(Kasimpasa): Omeruo has not played for the Super Eagles since match day 2 of the World Cup qualifier against Algeria in Uyo in April. But, if fit, the Kasimpasa centre-back has enough experience to fight his way back into the senior national team. With William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun already first choice, Omeruo’s chances rest on his form, with Uche Agbo and Chidozie Awaziem ahead of him in the pecking order for the World Cup.
7. STANLEY AMUZIE (FC Lugano):
Elderson Echiejile is the most experienced defender in the Super Eagles at the moment and he is gradually losing pace. One player who can fit in seamlessly is former U-23 defender Stanley Amuzie who has also featured for the Eagles in two
The left-back position is not exactly a position of strength for the Super Eagles at the moment, with first choice Echiejile gradually fighting it tough combining his defensive duties with
joining the attack. Amuzie, who starred at the Rio Olympics in 2016, has the pedigree to make the squad, but much of that depends on Gernot Rohr and his plans for the back-up role for Echiejile who is one of the coach’s favorite players.
8. VINCENT ENYEAMA (Lille):
Unarguably the best Nigerian goalkeeper in the last decade, Enyeama has been a reliable choice for the Super Eagles until his unceremonious exit from the team under former coach Sunday Oliseh. Enyeama’s return to the team has been much publicized and if he decides to make a U-turn on his international career, Enyeama will not only bring stability to the team but also inspire lot of confidence in the squad. But the biggest questions for Gernot Rohr will
be who will lead the team, Mikel Obi or Enyeama? Will Enyeama be fully fit for the World Cup after being unattached for a spell?
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