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5 Players Who Deserve Opportunity In Super Eagles Training Camp Ahead 2018 FIFA World Cup

5 Players Who Deserve Opportunity In Super Eagles Training Camp Ahead 2018 FIFA World Cup

With the 2018 FIFA World Cup inching closer to the big kick off in Russia, Completesportsnigeria.com’s JAMES AGBEREBI takes a look at five players who deserve an opportunity to vie for selection by Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr ahead of the team’s trip to Russia.

EFE AMBROSE (Defender)

It is evident that one area which the Super Eagles need to strenghten ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup is in the defence.

One player who has what it takes to add experience and stability in the defence is Efe Ambrose.

Since last featuring for the Super Eagles in a 1-0 away loss to Egypt in the qualifiers for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in 2016, Ambrose is yet to get a recall.

But the Hibernian defender can still do a job for the Super Eagles both at the right-back and central defensive positions.

Shehu Abdullahi and Tyronne Ebuehi have featured at right-back while the duo of William Troost-Ekong and Leon Balogun seems to have formed a formidable partnership in the middle of the defence, but Ambrose can have a go with these players for both positions.

Ambrose won the 2013 AFCON with the Eagles, was at the 2013 FIFA Confederation Cup and was also at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. This is an indication that he has the experience at the top level.

He has played all 33 league games for his Scottish club Hibernian which means he is a regular and will be super fit if given the chance to be in Rohr’s 23-man squad.

IMOH EZEKIEL (Winger)

The Super Eagles is blessed with pacy and skillful players who can wreak havoc to any defence on their day.

Players like Victor Moses, Moses Simon, Ahmed Musa, Alex Iwobi all showed how deadly they can be as was evident during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

But one player who can be a valuable addition to the plethora of wingers in the team going to the World Cup is Las Palmas forward Imoh Ezekiel.

Blessed with pace and the ability to take defenders on from the wings, it is a surprise that Ezekiel can only boast of just one cap for the Eagles which was in a 0-0 draw against Mexison in a friendly in 2014.

Despite his lack of opportunity with the Super Eagles, Ezekiel showed what he can do as he was one of the outstanding players for the U-23 Eagles who won bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

His appearance at the 2016 Olympics also shows he has top competition experience which will be a plus for the Super Eagles in Russia if given the opportunity.

AZUBUIKE OKECHUKWU (Midfielder)

Azubuike Okechukwu’s only appearances with any Nigerian national team was with the U-23 Eagles where he excelled in the midfield.

He captained the team to a bronze medal finish at the 2015 All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville and was part of the Rio 2016 Olympic U-23 Eagles squad.

Diminutive in size, Okechukwu has proven that he has the football brain to contribute in the Super Eagles midfield if called upon.

Operating in a deep-lying midfield role, Okechukwu is comfortable on the ball and can link both defence and attack, an area which was brutally exposed during the Eagles’ two friendly against Poland and Serbia.

Also Okechukwu can create scoring opportunities from his deep midfield role, a skill which apart from John Mikel Obi, no other midfielder in the current Super Eagles can produce.

He has played in 21 of Yeni Malatyaspor’s 28 league games in the Turkish top flight.

AARON SAMUEL (Striker)

The only recognised number nine in the Super Eagles going to the 2018 FIFA World Cup is Odion Ighalo.

For a team that is serious about doing very well at the World Cup, relying on just one striker is not good enough.

One player who should be given the chance to show what he can do is Amkar Perm striker Aaron Samuel.

Samuel is no stranger when it comes to the Super Eagles as he has seven caps and two goals to his name.

The 23-year-old is big and strong and can be a good backup for Ighalo who struggled in the Eagles’ friendlies against Poland and Serbia.

After struggling at CSKA, Samuel moved to Amkar Perm in February of 2018 where he seems to have relaunched his career. He has so far scored two goals in four league games.

DELE AJIBOYE (Goalkeeper)

The Plateau United shot stopper is yet to feature for the main Super Eagles team, but his appearances for the home-based side has shown how useful he can be if only Gernot Rohr can put faith on him.

Ajiboye had the opportunity of being in the Super Eagles squad in their 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon in Uyo and Yaounde, and the game against Zambia also in Uyo.

He was second choice to Ikechukwu Ezenwa during the 2017 West Africa Football Union Cup of Nations in Ghana where he kept in a handful of games.

At the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco, Ajiboye also did well when called upon to replace Ezenwa who got injured in their semi-final match against Sudan.

Ajiboye was one of the reasons the home-based Eagles made it to the final as he made daring saves to keep the Sudanese at bay as Nigeria won 1-0.

In the final, though the Eagles were thrashed 4-0 by hosts Morocco, Ajiboye made excellent saves to make sure the Eagles did not lose with a cricket scoreline.

With the uncertainties surrounding some of the goalkeepers currently in the Super Eagles heading to the World Cup, Ajiboye should be given the chance once again to prove his worth.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 21
  • Sa Dave 7 months ago

    All these players in super eagle camp? you must be kidding! we’ve gone pass that.. we dont seriously need them. lokossa, awoniyi, ajayi, a. ejide, s. kalu, dressers, ikechukwu.. deserve a place in the super eagle camp.
    I PLEDGE PEACE!!!

    • Mcvintus 7 months ago

      Azubuike Okechukwu is a true midfielder!, apart from mikel Obi, he is Nigeria ngolo nkante, Azubuike possesses a quality that is hard to find in modern day teams. He reads the game well, he cuts short opposition attacks with easy, strong and neat tackles, accurate passes, very hard to beat on one on one situations, links with the attackers very well and covers lots of ground for others. I don’t know why he is subsequently dropped from super eagle lists. At last Olympic semi final against Germany, bcos he wasn’t there, Nigeria lost the game to Germany (card accumulation). I see him displacing Ogenyi Onazi in a short time. The combo of Ndidi, Azubuike and mikel in super eagles midfield will be a delight.

  • Mykel 7 months ago

    For me, they should invite Imogen Ezekiel,ambrose and azubuije okechukwu. They are all very good players

    • Kalu Samuel, Anderson Etisi, Azubuike Okechukwu, Denis Bonaventure, Taiwo Awoniyi, etc will equally be included 

  • Chima E Samuels 7 months ago

    When was the last time imoh scored a goal complete sports get your scouting right…. We are talking about playing against the best teams in the world how can a Las Palmas bench warmer be considered good enough for invite. Our sporting thinking in Nigeria is way behind

  • kunmi 7 months ago

    Ajiboye need to give some chance at least before world cup in one of the friendly game to show his self he is a blessing for the super eagle and also he is in his best form of his life. he need to give chance

  • Chairmanfemi 7 months ago

    I think I’ll go for inclusion of Efe Ambrose in the defence and Dele Ajiboye. Am i the only one who watched those world-class saves made during that CHAN 2018. Am sure if Nigeria had won that tournament, there would have been so many shout for his call-up. We have a good goal keeper here in Ajiboye and we are still struggling for a good goal tender. For me, i think our Midfield is super complete.So anyone calling for Azubike needs urgent deliverance. God help us in this Nigeria.

  • Greenturf 7 months ago

    Azubuike Okechukwu is the real deal.Honestly i can’t understand how he is not in the team already when he is shoulder ahead of the regular midfielders in the team.A team lacking in creativity shouldn’t ignore a player of such quality.I believe something is not right in the super eagles probably Onazi is been protected.Nigeria is a funny country and this things happen all the time the reason we cant make any substansive progress .

  • Elisha Ette 7 months ago

    Pls. We should allow Mr. Rorh to do his job. This is not a time to distract him. We only have two months left. He knows the players he will pick to the world cup. We dont need a keeper (Ajiboye) that will disgrace us in d world cup just as he did in the final match in chan when we lost to morocco not even one or two goals, but 4 goals to nothing.

    • Chairmanfemi 7 months ago

      I wander how some people think o. Is it the keeper that made so many saves that day and preventing the score line not to be more than 4 that u are blaming?? What happened to The defence,midfield or is it the keeper’s job to work there too.

  • In all sincerity as a football ethusiast,okechukwu azubuike is a good player with good tackle but explore and experience is key,which most of the player in are a way ahead of him but i’m not saying,he shouldn’t be included in the 35man provisional list,he can be given the opportunity to come and exhibit is talent,so as to confirm to the fact that he is very good.

  • Raphael Azubuike 7 months ago

    Thanks complete sports, some fans think we are going to a junior world cup, after this world cup, we cqn now try those young players some have suegested here and integrate them into the team gradually for the 2019 afcon and the next world cup, even three out of the five in this list are young, I fancy Azubuike too but it is too early to start crying foul over his none inclusion in the super eagles team, afterall this is his first season in a firt division league in europe, and he is not playing in the popular top five leagues.

  • Raphael Azubuike 7 months ago

    Thanks complete sports, some fans think we are going to a junior world cup, after this world cup, we can now try those young players some have suegested here and integrate them into the team gradually for the 2019 afcon and the next world cup, even three out of the five in this list are young, I fancy Azubuike too but it is too early to start crying foul over his none inclusion in the super eagles team, afterall this is his first season in a firtstd ivision league in europe, and he is not playing in the popular top five leagues.

  • Tunsak 7 months ago

    The team is already formed and new additions at the eve of the WC may not achieve the desired result. From experience chopping the team and total overhaul will only help in making us to leave Russia early (take a cue from Onigbinde and the Japan/Korea experience). The team did well in their pre-wc friendlies but at the WC proper we all know what happened even if they were not disgraced. Any addition now should be extraordinary and fill the positions that were exposed in the friendly against Poland and Serbia. To me out of the 5 that CS has mentioned, only Efe for his experience which may be handy in the defense and Aaron Samuel for competition with Ighalo comes to mind. But from our aforementioned friendlies, it is clear that without Mikel we may not be able to unlock too many defences in Russia and for him to be in the twilight of his career we need a substitute so that he could even rest for some matches if need be. I know of a Sone Aluko and Abduljeleel Ajagun who are super regulars for their clubs, they should be invited and named in the 35 with a view to using them not sparingly as Ajayi was used against Serbia and Okechukwu not even getting to play at all. We are fully covered in the defensive midfield position especially when Uche Agbo has been merely making numbers and have never made an appearance and hence Azubuike Okechukwu will only confuse issues. Same for Imoh Ezekiel. For the goal keeping position, we may be okay with the ones we already have only if we sort our defence issues but if we must add we may go for experience in the form of Austin Ejide who has attended 3 WCs and 5 ANCs winning in 2013 since he is still active even if in lower rungs of the Isreal league. Rem Carl Ikeme was not and EPL keeper and if not for injury would have been our 1st choice, even the Uzoho that is now the favoured plays in the 3rd division in Spain. Dele Aiyenugba is also another option. Which bring me to the attack that needs some rejuvenation and the names that come to mind based on current form is Umar “Jalolo” Sadiq, Taiwo Awoniyi and Lokossa the NPFL top league scorers if only to train with and given a chance for competing when the WC camp opens. This was how Kanu, Tijani Babangida, Ikpeba etc were allowed to train prior to US 94 and we all can see the benefits years later. So for me I consider Austin Ejide and/or Dele Aiyenugba, Efe Ambrose, Ajagun, Sone Aluko, Umar Sadiq, Taiwo Awoniyi, Aaron Samuel and Junior Lokossa to be part of the 35 WC provisional list.

  • Greenturf 7 months ago

    @tunsac to ignore a player like Zubby you kidding me!aside Mikel there’s no better midfielder than him.
    Zubby makes the midfield thick.He is a dynamo and a beauty to watch.
    I agree with you on Ambrose and probably Aaron depends on his performances at his new loaned club.
    Actually we may need a couple of additions due to limited time to gel

    • Tunsak 7 months ago

      @Greenturf Zubby is good but we are spoilt for choices in his role like I earlier mentioned and too much cooks spoil the broth. We already have Etebo, Onazi, Wilfred, Joel Obi, Uche Agbo, etc in there. Where we lack depth is the offensive/creative midfield position. Same way we championed for Joel obi’s inclusion and he did not cover himself in much glory in the matches vs Poland and Serbia. Some of the players may not fit into the coach’s philosophy or game plan in anticipation of the WC.

      • Ayphillydegreat 7 months ago

        Joel Obi did not play badly against Poland and Serbia. Infact he was really good against Poland covering every blade of grass and his combo with Ndidi in that game was a joy to watch. When he was replaced the Midfield was near collapse. Against Serbia only Iwobi played well. The rest were just playing 5 aside. Perhaps he’s one of our most consistent midfielder in Europe over the last two seasons. We need him in the team going to Russia. Zubby is going to be a fantastic addition, but I think for now we have enough talents in the defensive Midfield position.

  • Ojo Samuel 7 months ago

    Well out of those players.
    I think zubby and ajiboy deserves a call up

    What of players like awoniyi, adi, dessers, aiyenugba

  • THANKS COMPLETE SPORT,I AGREE WITH U AND THE COACH OF THE SE (GR) THAT ALL DEPARTMENT OF THE TEAM NEED TO BE BEEFED UP WITH GOOD AND EXPERIENCED PLAYERS, I WANT TO ALIGN WITH THE CS ON THE INVITATION OF AMBROSE EFE,COMBATIVE AZUBUIKE,AND IMOH EZEKIEL, AIYENUGA AND AARON SAMUEL SHOULD BE COSIDERED TOO. THANKS FOR YOUR PATRIOTIC CONTRIBUTION AT THIS HOUR.

  • Joel obi good, efe Ambrose should be included, sone aluko okay, ejide Austin considered and Daniel akpeyi given another chance .akpeyi is a great keeper to watch if his confidence is built 

  • Wisdom 7 months ago

    Well my candid opinion is that with few months to the world cup we do not need much inclusion in the team,except in the goal keeping position and one point man.I will suggest the duo of Dele Aiyenugba and Austin Ejide in the goal keeping position to be included in the 35 man list while Obafemi Martins should be call up.This is a World cup where experienced is mostly needed.