Jose Peseiro has released a 40-man provisional squad for the AFCON in January, but he would eventually have to trim it down to 27
The Super Eagles will be looking to win a fourth African crown in Ivory Coast next January when the Africa Cup of Nations kicks off.
However, they will have to navigate their way through the group stage, and, of course, they would have to defeat other top African teams to emerge champions.
Ahead of the competition, all 24 participating countries have already released their provisional squads. In Nigeria, coach Jose Peseiro named a 40-man provisional squad for the competition.
CAF has set January 3 as the deadline for all countries to release their final 27-man list, and judging by the quality of the players in the squad, Peseiro might have a tough time picking his final list.
Nonetheless, there are still some players who are sure of their spots, like Victor Osimhen, Fulham’s Alex Iwobi, Victor Boniface, and Francis Uzoho.
On the other hand, there are some players who would have to fight hard to get a place in their squad. Soccernet.ng takes a look at seven players who may not make Peseiro’s final list.
The Nottingham Forest-owned forward is currently on loan at Turkish club Istanbul Başakşehir. Still, he has not done anything worthy of note at the club. In the first instance, he has been out of the national team for months, and many fans questioned his inclusion in the team instead of Gift Orban. Unless he pulls off a miracle, it is tough to see him in Ivory Coast.
Dessers has been in decent form since coach Philippe Clement became the coach of Rangers. The Nigerian striker has registered six goals and one assist in his last eleven games for the Gers.
Unfortunately, his chances of making the team are slim because of the number of top strikers available to Peseiro. Terem Moffi, Victor Boniface, Victor Osimhen, Sadiq Umar and Kelechi Iheanacho are all ahead in the hierarchy. Except any of them gets injured, Dessers may have to watch the Super Eagles from Scotland.
Obasogie is having a good campaign with NPFL club Bendel Insurance, but it would be tough for him to make the team because of the other goalkeepers available to Peseiro. The Portuguese tac5 seems to have a strong liking for Francis Uzoho and Adebayo Adeleye. And Nwabali is primed to be part of the squad. So, Obasogie would just have to bid his time.
Nwoke is also in the goalkeeping department, and just like Obasogie, the Sporting Lagos goalkeeper would have to watch the game from Lagos because of Peseiro’s aversion to local-based players.
Dele-Bashiru is one of the new players in the Super Eagles squad. He has one cap for Nigeria, but it is unlikely that he will make the team because he is yet to prove himself.
The 22-year-old attacking midfielder has been decent for Hatayspor this season, with four goals and two assists in the Super Lig. But he may have to wait some more before he can play at the AFCON.
The Hoffenheim man has been a regular at his club, but he has not reached that level with the national team yet. Players like Calvin Bassey, Kenneth Omeruo, Semi Ajayi, and Troost-Ekong are ahead of him in the pecking order. As such, he could sit out this one.
Peseiro has four proper left-backs: Zaidu Sanusi, Bruno Onyemaechi, Tyrone Ebuehi, and Collins. But he can’t take all of them. The most he can take is three, and Collins may just be the casualty.
The 29-year-old fullback has made 20 appearances for Cardiff City, but because of the quality of his competitors, Collins may not make the team.