In the World Cup, we have seen prodigies who have flourished for their sides. Players have taken their opportunity, and shun.
With this in mind, we have picked out five young players capable of performing for Nigeria in Russia 2018.
Wilfred Ndidi [Liecester City]
Ndidi’s versatility has helped him slot into many positions in his young career. Operating at central defence, right back and defensive midfield.
With a mixture of tenacity off the ball and finesse on it, Ndidi’s passing ability stands out very easily, able to supply passes between the lines from deep positions and also build up play with short passes, while not being fazed in pressure situations from opposition players. Coupled with good aerial ability and intelligent football IQ on the pitch, this has attributed the young lad slotting into multiple positions.
Another strength of the Nigeria international is his tenacity on and off the ball. Blessed with surreal stamina, Ndidi is able to hammer around the pitch at very high work-rate levels for 90 minutes game-after-game with an aggressive and powerful mindset, closing down and dispossessing players.
Kelechi Iheanacho [Leicester City]
Nacho started well at Manchester City before his move to Leicester City.
Eight goals in 15 appearances for the Super Eagles is an attestation to the fact the striker has the machinery to perform when needed at the Mundial.
The 2013 U17 World Cup MVP has two attributes that makes him stand out from the rest, strength and pace. With his impressive shooting ability, power and pace in attack, he could be the spearhead in the Eagles’ attack in Russia.
Francis Uzoho [Deportivo La Coruna]
The rise of this youngster has been remarkable in the last 10 ten months. That’s reward of hardwork. From being the reserve goalkeeper of the Golden Eaglets to the first choice shot stopper of the Super Eagles.
In October 2017, received his first call-up to the Nigerian senior squad. He made his full international debut on 14 November, replacing Daniel Akpeyi in a 4-2 friendly win against Argentina.
A lot will be expected from the youngster in Nigeria’s sixth appearance at the World Cup.
Moses Simon [KAA Gent]
If Simon should shake off his injury and get on the train to Russia, he should be a positive outlet for Nigeria.
The “Nigerian Ronaldo” possesses bag of tricks and has knack for scoring breathtaking goals. A good tournament will earn him a big move that truly befits his flourishing career.
Alex Iwobi [Arsenal]
Iwobi has been displaying some superb performances for the Super Eagles. The statistics backed up his performances with four goals in 15 games.
He made his senior debut for the Super Eagles on 8 October 2015, replacing Ahmed Musa in the 57th minute of a 2-0 friendly defeat to DR Congo in Visé, Belgium.
His key attributes are creativity and vision, but he has also emerged as a clinical finisher.