Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro has named a 23-man squad for Nigeria’s double-header against Guinea-Bissau later in March.
Some players were left out despite their form, while there were some questionable calls from the coach and the Nigeria Football Federation.
Soccernet looks at some players who have been in excellent form recently and deserve a spot in the squad.
The Super Eagles have struggled in the goalkeeper department since Carl Ikeme retired.
In recent years, the competition has been between Maduka Okoye and Francis Uzoho. But both of them have failed to impress, committing costly errors on different occasions.
Due to Okoye’s lack of game time at Watford, he was left out. However, Uzoho was invited alongside Rivers United shot-stopper Victor Sochima and Under-20 goalkeeper Kingsley Aniagboso.
However, with the selection, it is crystal clear that Uzoho will be the first-choice goalkeeper.
Adebayo Adeleye has had a good campaign with Israeli club Hapoel Jerusalem. He has played 20 league games this season, and has proven to be reliable in goal.
Nonetheless, for Nigeria, he is yet to get minutes. This would have been the best time to give Adeleye a call-up and probably give him a chance to keep goal, especially in the first leg, when the pressure will be less.
Instead, Aniagboso, who is yet to break into a Nigerian top-flight club, was called up.
A good look at the list would make you know that a few spots were already designated for the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations lad beforehand. Whilst that may be a pair of decisions by Peseiro or the Nigeria Football Federation, picking the best of the players would have reduced the criticism. However, that was not the case. Daniel Bameyi was not the best Flying Eagles defender, but he made the cut. Ogwuche and Benjamin Frederick were even better.
Ogbelu, who was also on the team, had a very good tournament. He was very solid in midfield. He hardly put a foot wrong, and watching him would easily remind one of Wilfred Ndidi.
The 19-year-old’s ball distribution was good, and his decision-making was also decent. He is still rough around the edges and still needs time to develop. But if the NFF could invite Bameyi, then Ogbelu deserved to be in the squad.
Frederick had a very good U-20 tournament. In fact, his displays have attracted interest from European clubs like RB Leipzig, FC Midtjylland, and Anderlecht.
Asides Ogwuche, Frederick was one of Nigeria’s best players.
The former Midtjylland midfielder left Denmark for Belgian side Club Brugge last summer, but he has sealed his place as a starter at the club.
With Ndidi struggling at Leicester City, Onyedika is supposed to be the go-to guy. Sturdy and aggressive when needed, Onyedika may not have Ndidi’s physique, but he is the most worthy deputy. And seeing that only four midfielders were called up, including Onyedika would not have been a bad idea.
It is quite laughable that Paul Onuachu, who has been a bench-warmer for Genk made the list. But Akpom, who has been in red-hot form for Middlesbrough, was snubbed. 23 goals in 30 league games is not an easy feat, and the 27-year-old would be asking himself what else he has to do to get a call-up to the national team.
Orban has taken Belgium by storm. The 20-year-old striker has scored twelve goals in his last nine appearances for Gent since his transfer in January.
In fact, since January, no player has a better goal/minute ratio in Europe’s top ten leagues. Also, he brings another dimension to the team. He knows how to take free-kicks, he is fast and can function perfectly in a 4-4-2
It is hard to see a reason for Peseiro’s decision to snub Orban.
Among this list only Chuba Akpom. Raphael Onyedika and Orban.are worth a call up .
In the first place, whoever hired Pisero knows that he is not the man to coach Nigeria, pisaro is not a good coach, since hd took over Nigerian National his performance with the team has been absolutely horrendous, he can’t even identify a good footballer neither can he identify a talent , he is there to satisfy some corrupt people as usual.
If Gift Urban is not in the squad, who else will?
In the first place, whoever hired Pisero knows that he is not the man to coach Nigeria, pisaro is not a good coach, since he took over Nigerian National Team his performance with the team has been absolutely horrendous, he can’t even identify a good footballer neither can he identify a talent , he is there to satisfy some corrupt people as usual.
If Gift Urban is not in the squad, who else would ?
Onuachu may not have started scoring in his new club not cos of lack of skill but the challenge of adaptability that is associated with moving to a new club. I remember Awoniyi used to struggle in any new club he got to and after fill aclimisation, he begins to fire from all cylinders, that is the case with Paul, let’s be fair to him, he is not sitting on the bench I beg to disagree, I have watched him once in his new club, the problem is that he needs wingers and midfielder who knows how to feed him the goals will come.
why is the Nigeria national team full of Igbos,few or no Yoruba or hausas.