By: Ridwan Adeola Yusuf
Franco-German, Gernot Rohr has been stable with his use of players during his 21-month reign as Super Eagles boss.
But with talents and options abound, of the 30 players on his provisional list, who will be on the plane to Russia for the World Cup starting next month?
Our writer select his squad and his reasons:
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC); Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa)
Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Tyronne Ebuehi (Ado Den Haag, The Netherlands); Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes, France); Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge KSV, Belgium); Brian Idowu (Amkar Perm, Russia); William Ekong (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey)
Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Tianjin Teda, China); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (UD Las Palmas, Spain); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Joel Obi (Torino FC, Italy)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Odion Ighalo (Chang Chun-Yatai, China); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England)
Daniel Akpeyi has not being convincing enough when giving the chance, but Rohr might still consider him. Although, he will certainly not be #1!
We pray God heal the ailing Carl Ikeme soon. The Eagles’ goalkeeping position is not yet well-covered.
Elderson Echiejile should still make the cut, despite the fact that not many Nigerian football fans fancy him.
He is one of the four most-experienced players in the team – after Mikel Obi, Ahmed Musa and Ogenyi Onazi.
Hence, his experienced is needed in a team comprising mostly (promising) young players.
Besides, Rohr seem to trust him. And there is no real competition in his place.
“We have to admit that Echeijile has not done badly so far,” Rohr maintains.
“He did well against Zambia and Cameroon, especially against the best player at the AFCON (Christian Bassogog).
“However, I noticed that everybody is complaining about his position.
“But if he is fit and playing regularly for his club, he has that position,” the 64 year old assures last year.
Junior Lokosa of Kano Pillars is a ‘late-comer’ into the squad, it would be a huge surprise if Rohr selects him in his final squad.
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