ROAD TO RUSSIA: 8 Players Who Can Improve Nigeria’s World Cup Squad

ROAD TO RUSSIA: 8 Players Who Can Improve Nigeria’s World Cup Squad

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
competitions.
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
games.
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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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 62
  • Out of all the foothballers u have listed here, I think Vincent enyama is the only qualified player, pls let’s stick to the bird in our hands.

  • We know them not, if it’s not broken dont fix it,those that are worthy for the qualifier are also worthy of the championship, thus says the lord

  • Dotun 2 weeks

    You should also add Aluko, Brian Idowu, and Uche. Aluko will provide stiff competition for moses simon. I think Aluko is better than him. not forgeting Bazee he is getting back to training.

  • How can dey reap where dey did not sow. Let d coach to get to work, train and use d players dat made us qualify for d world cup.

  • Rohr congratulations for qualifying for world cup.After qualifying what next? Preparation proper. Any department of the team that required overhauling have to be overhauled. Invitingly new players does not mean the old good ones will not go to the world cup. For instance invitingly Enyema does not stop Ezenwa & Ekpeyi from going to world cup, all we need is the best to have good outing considering the countries we may meet.

  • Babatunde micheal can do it

  • luomo 2 weeks

    all quality additions bar Omeruo and Micheal Babatunde…we have better players in that dept who barring injuries are okay for the world cup..Awaziem and Agbo are much better to error prone Omeruo.i will prefer an Aluko to Babatunde

  • Babatunde is A great player
    2014 world cup
    Nigeria vs France
    He did A GREAT job
    Vincent should also be includ*

    • charles emeka okwu 2 weeks

      Babatunde are great player? Wonders shall never end. If he is good as some of you here claim what is he doing in qatar?

  • Greenturf 2 weeks

    That’s just the positives of going to the world cup.A lot of interesting topics to deliberate by football enthusiasts.Meanwhile,going by the article above I think Enyeama is strong on players listed for consideration by the gaffer.News emalnating from the Nff is Sheyi Ojo will be wooed in the coming days.On the other hand,Stanley Amuzie has a chance of integrating into the team by upping his game both domestically and in Europe to stand a chance of flying to Russia as he features in the problematic left back.Babatunde playing in Qatar has not done his chances any good though a very clever footballer. I think Nigerians of British and German origins respectively have better chances only if Nff plans of successfully wooing them to change nationality sees the light of the day.

  • I think it’s time to bring Joseph yobo back from retirement, ike Uche is scoring in Spain, all bcs of World Cup nonsense.

  • The world cup starts from 14 June to 15 July. Algeria vs Nigeria is November 18. This means all selection for Russia 2018 must be concluded by May 2018 or beginning of June 2018. Counting from November when vs Algeria match is played we have barely 7 months. This present squad have already blended. Can all these players you are mentioning, (7 new players) blend with the others that they will not come to replace? You did not even mention Tammy Abraham. We need just 2 players. An attacker and a left full back. We may consider the goalkeeping department since not too much blending is needed. We don’t need all that number. 2-3 players.

  • charles emeka okwu 2 weeks

    Tammy abraham,josh onomah,felix udokhai,brain idowu,henry onyekuru,bonaventure dennis and cyriel dessers are players i urge rohr to give a chance. I believe few of the above mentioned talents will add more quality to the team. Also they are relatively young so will be the base of the team in the nearest future.

  • Babatunde Michael can improve the team.

    • Babatunde Micheal is good n should b included,he is no new face in super eagles fold.Enyama is still d best,lets call him back,Onyekuru should b called n tried…

  • Kel 2 weeks

    If Complete Sports ever try to subtly start campaigning for Babatunded Michael and influence Rhor to invite him, I too will start a strong counter campaign on the web. Babatunde ko, Babatunde ni. After Keshi won Afcon, he started misbehaving and invited average players like Babtunde, Gabriel Rueben & Chan MVP guy in place of quality players like Victor Moses, Ik Uche etc. And Nigeria performed sub-par at the world cup. Can you imagine it was because of this same Babatunde that Keshi (cos of ego) dropped Moses who would have made so much difference in 2014. What about his ego problem with Ik Uche? Thank God Rohr is a white man, so we won’t have egoistic coaches choosing players that can prostate for them. Siasia too is fond of that (remember the Enyeama issue that cost us the Afcon in 2012?) or Oliseh and Enyeama, and Emenike. Nigeria is still suffering the consequences of this egoism by this Nigerian coaches. always ready to sacrifice quality for sentiments.

  • What about Kim ojo he is very good….. In attack.please call him.

  • Sean 2 weeks

    Hmm…Michael Babatunde!!!, he performed at the world cup 3 years back and ended up in Qatar? What about Sunday mbah? Because he scored the important gaol for us at the nation’s cup may be we should invite him too, Uzoenyi performed well at Chan tournament before world cup too remember? But the question is..right now, we have Musa, Moses, Iwobi, Simon…among these four whom can Babatunde replace since we need a better player than them. Its better we don’t go at all than to carry all these players to mentioned apart from enyeama to world cup…Bazee, Dessers,a good left back..period!

  • Let the people who qualified us to Russia,be groomed together and be improved on. We are good to go. Where were all these people when we were hustling to qualify?

  • This information is useful, and others would combined to get the best.

  • Pls never and ever suggest omoeru to eagles squad again he is just another Echejinle

  • Ayphillydegreat 2 weeks

    I think Anderson Esiti will be an upgrade to Agu. Enyeama is absolutely needed. Azubuike Okechukwu is another viable option. Our attack is already loaded so I don’t think Babatunde can ever get anywhere near camp. Maybe Onyekuru and Kayode can still provide some competitions towards the training camp.

  • Kenny Shittu 2 weeks

    I would only endorsed two from the names listed above
    1. Henry Onyekuru (Striker) and 2. Stanley Amuzie (Left Back). We have good replacements for the starters in other departments of team. While Amuzie can be the better option to the problematic left back considering what we saw of him at the Rio Olympics, Onyekuru can add bites to the attacking options instead of using Iheanacho as we had witnessed in the recent qualifiers.

  • Only Vincent is qualified for world cup. The other defender is a big mistake

  • Okay, now that the qualifiers are over, you guys have started abi? Every great player helped his Country during the qualifiers, where were these so called good players? How can they improve a world Cup squad when they couldn’t make any input in qualifying the Country? Please allow the Coach and his crew determine who is best for the team

  • We have started with all this call him call him, invite him, invite him, let’s stick n use the footballers that qualified us for the world cup.

  • John Mikel Obi, Leon Balogun, Williams Troost-Ekong and Alex Iwobi. These four are sure bankers for the world cup except injury disqualifies them.

  • Henry Onyekuru, Is outstanding for His club Anderlecht and Everton are seriously trying to bring him back we need to relpace Ahmed Musa with Onyekuru.. Michael Babatunde?????????? the same Babatunde that Stephen Keshi included in our World Cup squad in Brazil ahead of seasoned players in form at the time like Ezekiel Imoh and Ik Uche and co..? .Babatunde should not come near this Squad please or else we want a sub par World Cup like we had in Brazil. If we as fans are to campaign for players please let us campaign for quality inclusions like Kelechi Nwakali and Henry Onyekuru or even Tammy Abraham. Not Mediocre players like Michael Babatunde who cost Players on Merit their places at the World Cup in Brazil. THE REASON BABATUNDE HAS NOT MADE THE CUT TO PLAY FOR SUPER EAGLES UNDER ROHR IS BECAUSE HE IS SIMPLY NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!! PERIOD!!!!!

  • Kenneth Omeruo is Better than Echiejile and is also faster. Ola AINA and Kenneth and Chidozie Awaziem can campaign for that left back post

  • Aleks 2 weeks

    A bit of history, especially for the benefit of those who were too young to know much about the Great US-94 squad. Chidi Nwanu never played in the qualifiers (in fact he last played for Nigeria in Seoul 88 Olympics), yet he ended up our best defender in US ‘94. Peter Rufai never played in the US ‘94 qualifiers. He joined the team for the last two games of the Tunisia ‘94 Nations cup qualifiers, and then the Nations cup. Before then, he last played for Nigeria in the Italia ‘90 qualifiers. Yet he became our number 1 in US ‘94, with sterling performance. Michael Emenalo never played in the US ‘94 qualifiers. In fact the last time he played for Nigeria was as a fringe player in the mid 80’s. Yet he became our backup left back in US 94. Apart from a few slips in his first game against Argentina, he settled in well and was one of the standout players in the last match against Italy – and I say this remembering that every Eagles player on the pitch that day gave 110%!
    So my point exactly? All these players listed here should be given a chance to prove themselves and see if they can earn a place in the 23 man squad. We have a good team, but who says we shouldn’t try to make it better.
    And I dare say I would add Sonne Aluko and Efe Ambrose to that list. Yes, Ambrose is error prone but he has the benefit of experience to count on, and is still playing regularly in the Scottish league acquitting himself well.

    • ALeks How can you try make a team better with Michael Babatunde since the brazil World Cup where has he gone??????????? First of all if you didn’t know he earn his place in that team through dubious means and his place in that team hindered the chance of players who deserved to be there on merit at the time.. Please we don’t need a player like that near our team. Thank you.

      • Aleks 1 week

        Ugo, I’m not sure Michael Babatunde or any other player for that matter will just walk in and pick a shirt in the team. Probably, I wouldn’t give Babatunde a call because I don’t see him among the best 3 in his position, but if the coach identifies him as a possible option, there’s nothing wrong in inviting him to fight for a shirt. Though of the 8 players listed here, he’s the one I feel sceptical about. For me Sonne Aluko merits a call up more than Babatunde.

    • Ayphillydegreat 1 week

      Agreed 100%

  • Aleks 2 weeks

    I believe all the players listed here deserve a call up to the Eagles camp. Of the lot, I’m confident that Enyeama, Onyekuru, Amuzie (as back-up for Echiejile), Esiti (as back-up for either Onazi or Ndidi) and Onuachu (he could end up the top 9), would easily earn a place in the 23 man squad. I can also say same for Sonne Aluko, and to a lesser extent Efe Ambrose, although these two are not in the Completesports recommendations above.

  • Alexander 1 week

    We also need obafemi Martin’s back in the super eagles squad with the experience at d previous world cup to strengthen d attack of the super eagles team. Up super eagles of nigeria!!!

  • Yes to Babatunde and Enyeama

  • ndagi 1 week

    this world cup bound team needs a goalkeeper, a midfield commander and a one time top striker. In the world cup you meet the best as such you go with your best. presently Enyeama is our safest hand, Mikel needs a versatile, talented and fast midfielder to combine with not Onazi, may be we try Esiti. Igalo looses balls too much, in the world you don’t loose too much chances if you must progress we could try Onuachi, Aluko or Oyenkuru during subsequent matches

  • okponku 1 week

    Are the players in NPL playing stones instead of ball these days? that we are all going for only already made European mades. Cos am aware these naija proffessional lads started from NPL. It`s irritating that one could not anymore strenghten our Super eagles with the local players. Our sports administration should do something urgently to cumb this menance. Concerning W/CUP i trust the German coach, people shouldnt distract him cos he knows how to go about his squard. Hala SUPER EAGLES!!!

  • Omoboriowo Owoparija Ikumaapami. 1 week

    We don’t need any of them. Those to be considered are those that has taken part in the qualifying series but one thing or the other stopped them from joining the train that qualified the team for Russia.

  • They can’t reap where they didn’t sow. Rohr if you try it, holy ghost… You can complete it.

  • flex 1 week

    serenren bazee, onyekuru dennis, nwakali,onuachu, esiti, …..qeeze bros, there are just too much talents, too much, am confused already.

  • Ogu John is left footed, im sure with little exposure/instructions he will be the solution in that back abs would be easier for him supporting the attack. Don’t forget Osihmen. He would explode, given a nice midfielder to play with

  • Junior ajayi is doing well in Egypt..osimen is a poacher..for me ighalo’s speed and spacing is worrisome…and for echiejlle…Nigeria’s Achilles heel…..madu is better for me…Ezenwa is good but can he bark on his defenders to organise them?

  • DR B.O. Aghedo 1 week

    Henry Onyekuru of Anderlecht is the best striker that Nigeria is ignoring at the moment. He is young, strong and has scored 6 goals this season alone.

  • Baller-ji 1 week

    We have many good players plying their trade all over the planet. We can’t invite all of them, but we can try a few here and there. Let the NFF organize friendlies so as many players as possible can have a chance. I really like this Paul Onuachu guy. He can compete with Ighalo for the center forward jersey. If Enyeama is willing, then he will be a great addition to the squad. Having said that, I think Ezenwa has great potential and will get better with time.

  • tari joshuai 1 week

    Why have you not added the 18 year old goal keeper who is presently the NUMBER ONE CHOICE for spanish la liga side , deportivo la coruna….francis odinaka uzoho