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6 Premier League Players Past And Present Hoping To Play For Nigeria At 2018 World Cup

6 Premier League Players Past And Present Hoping To Play For Nigeria At 2018 World Cup

Nigeria face some tough World Cup finals group opposition this summer where their pool contains two-time winners Argentina, 1998 third-place nation Croatia and Euro 2016 surprise package Iceland.

The Super Eagles need the players taking to Russian pitches to have as much experience at the highest level as possible, so national coach Gernot Rohr is likely to look for Premier League regulars or those who have turned out at that level before when selecting his squad.

Related: Top 10 World Cup Flops

Bearing that in mind, here are six Premier League players past and present hoping to play for Nigeria at the World Cup.

kelechi-iheanacho-leicester city-completesportsnigeria.com-csnKelechi Iheanacho

Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho has been prolific during his international career to date.

He left Manchester City last summer in search of regular first-team football, yet the Foxes haven’t really been able to provide Iheanacho with that due to the fine form of Jamie Vardy.

Despite playing second fiddle when it comes to leading the Leicester line, Iheanacho remains a key forward option for his country.

alex-iwobi-arsenal-super-eagles-uefa-europa-league-fc-cologne-‎completesportsnigeria.com

Alex Iwobi

Arsenal midfielder Alex Iwobi is starting more and more matches under Arsene Wenger at the Emirates Stadium.

He has some big shoes to fill on international duty, as Iwobi is the nephew of Super Eagles legend Jay-Jay Okocha but he struck twice in qualification – home and away to Zambia.

If the Gunners are trusting him to be regularly involved, then that makes Iwobi a potential player to watch for Nigeria at the World Cup finals, where they are 6/1 with William Hill to repeat their 2017 friendly victory over Argentina.

victor-moses-chelsea-atletico-uefa-champions-league-completesportsnigeria.comVictor Moses

Chelsea wingback Victor Moses was the Super Eagles’ top goalscorer in qualifying with three in key home victories against Algeria and Cameroon.

He tends to play further forward for his country than at club level and remains a regular at Stamford Bridge under Antonio Conte.

Moses has also played Champions League football with the Blues this season – the only likely squad inclusion to have turned out at that elite level. He will be hoping to defy the odds, with Nigeria 11/4 to qualify from World Cup Group D.

John Obi Mikel

National captain John Obi Mikel spent more than a decade with Chelsea before leaving them for Chinese Super League side Tianjin TEDA in January 2017.

Although far from prolific for either club or country, Mikel is a key part of the Super Eagles’ spine and doing the unglamorous dirty work affords the flair players freedom to express themselves.

Like Moses, Mikel was part of the Nigeria side that won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations title and can draw on substantial previous tournament experience.

ighalo

Odion Ighalo

While Odion Ighalo now plays in China with Changchun Yatai, he previously established a prolific strike partnership with Troy Deeney at Watford.

First firing the Hornets into the Premier League in 2014/15, Ighalo then hit 15 English top-flight goals the following season.

Reproducing that sort of form on international duty is important if the Super Eagles are to avoid finishing bottom of their World Cup finals group, which is a 6/5 chance in the betting.

Wilfried Ndidi

And finally, Leicester anchorman Wilfried Ndidi has proved quietly effective in front of the Foxes’ back four this season.

Ndidi was one of the last signings made by Premier League winning manager Claudio Ranieri before he was sacked in February 2017

As with Mikel above, Ndidi’s main function is to break opposition play up and he’s the future in that area for Nigeria, yet he’s also managed to chip in with a few assists from deep at the King Power Stadium.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 4
  • Chairmanfemi 7 months ago

    Imagine the world cup without these guys, Nigeria’s gat no hope. They are all important. Those criticizng Ighalo should go and hug transformer o cuz he’s a good finisher. I wander how a striker will perform well when he’s not supplied with the ball or when the midfield lacks creativity, If you like bring Harry Kane to play for Nigeria he will still flop. Though, i still agree that he needs a competitor

  • Bekee 7 months ago

    Are you excluding MUSA? I think he deserved to be included.

  • Patrick 7 months ago

    Ahmed musa currently on loan to CSKA also plays in England. Our players based in England and China like other super eagles players are good footballers but what we need in the team is competition. The coach need to invite kalu and awoniyi from Belgium to compete along with ajayi with ighalo.the coach should test etebo ,Joel obi and other midfielders currently in super eagles in our subsequent friendly matches. We need to try players is the midfield and attack. Against Croatia the midfield will determine the match. Against Argentina our attack will determine the outcome as it did during the last friendly .messi can score good goals even against the best defence but what about Argentine defence. Did you watch their friendly against Spain or otomendi when his team lost to Manchester united .

  • Idion Ighalo is still our no1 striker. Any other is
    an assistance or coming to tap from his experience. What about the man in Greece, Ideye(is this the real spelling? Whatever, this guy will be a very good pair with Odion. Mikel. Ndidi. Victor Moses. Iwobi. Those 5 are Russia must. I am not too sure about Kelechi Iheanacho. Other must are Leon Balogun, Troost, Joel Obi, Shehu Abdulahi, Ahmed Musa, Aina, AllTheGoalKeepers, Moses Simon, Agu and Ogu. That is 18 right? Rohr can play around with the the remaining 5. CHAN or local league players fall within that number .