The elimination of the Super Eagles at the 2018 World Cup is a wound yet to be healed in the hearts of well meaning and die hard supporters of the team.
Lots of questions have been asked. Is head coach Gernot Rohr the cause of problem? Are we suffering from lack of talents? Was the team really distracted?
This is not the time to lay blames but the period to proffer solution and seek the way forward.
What readily comes to mind is the fulcrum, chemistry and make up of the team.
Here are 10 players capable of changing the team’s fortune in future assignments;
1. Kelechi Nwakali
It gladdens the heart that the next big thing in Nigerian football has secured a loan move to FC Porto. What this means is that the youngster will have the chance to showcase his talents in the Portuguese Premier League and the prestigious UEFA Champions League. This will prepare him for the huge task ahead in the senior national team and his parent club (Arsenal).
2. Samuel Chukwueze
Chukwueze is fast developing. His hardwork at the Villarreal B team was rewarded with a new contract. You know what that means, a regular crack at the senior team. He is a raw diamond.
3. Taiwo Awoniyi
The Liverpool striker did well on loan at Royal Excel Mouscron hitting double figure. He will be certainty be farmed out on loan again, probably to an elite club in Europe.
4. Henry Onyekuru
A nasty injury cut short his World Cup dreams. The crafty forward is the future and he should be encouraged to thrive in the Super Eagles team.
5. Azubuike Okechukwu
Zuby needs no introduction to Nigeria Professional Football League followers. His consistency is well documented from Bayelsa United to Yeni Malatyaspor. A tireless and hardworking defensive midfielder who knows what it takes to cut out supplies to the opposition.
6. Ibrahim Alhassan
Alhassan didn’t really have it rosy at Austria Wien. He showed flashes of brilliance before his stint was over at the club. It’s good to see him sign for Maritimo in the Portuguese Premier League.
7. Junior Oluwafemi Ajayi
Junior is another interesting option for the future. He is mobile and has knack for scoring important goals. The Al Ahly striker might need to force a move abroad to enhance his Super Eagles dreams.
8. Usman Mohammed
Usman isn’t a regular at Sarpsborg at the Norwegian top flight. It is worrisome considering his immense talents. He showed his real stuff with a world class strike for the Eagles B side against Atletico Madrid in Uyo. The Sokoto born lad is raw and exciting to watch.
9. Ifeanyi Matthew
Matthew is the most underrated midfielder. But his quality for Lillestrom makes him standout. A playmaker whose defense splitting passes is second to none. The former Kano Pillars star is highly rated at the Scandinavian region.
10. Samuel Kalu
He is highly coveted in Belgium. Fast, tricky and direct. The KAA Gent youngster is another blessing to Nigerian Football. A willing worker, capable of unlocking the meanest of back line. He is a star in the making and should be properly harnessed.