How Strong is the Super Eagles Bench?


JOHN OGU (Hapoel Beer-Sheva, Israel)
The Hapoel Beer-Sheva midfielder is yet to feature for the Super Eagles in the World Cup qualifiers despite being invited several times.
Ogu was in the squad for the games against Cameroon in both legs and against Zambia but did not see a single minute of action.
He remains a regular for Hapoel Beer-Sheva where he has scored one goal after six league games.
His last game for Hapoel was in Thursday’s UEFA Europa League home clash against FC FCSB which they lost 2-1 with him going off with a suspected knock.
With the World Cup ticket already secured, many analysts still wonder why the Super Eagles coaching crew prefer to play mikel Agu instead of Ogu. Let us watch what happens as the preparation hots up. Who knows, he may finally get a chance to  convince Gernot Rohr and his coaching crew.

ANTHONY NWAKAEME (Hapoel Beer-Sheva)
Anthony Nwakaeme’s brilliant peformances in front of goal for Hapoel Beer-Sheva finally earned him an invitation to the Super Eagles.
Nwakaeme was among the 23 players invited by Gernot Rohr for the qualifiers against Cameroon in Uyo and Yaounde. He was also invited for the game against Zambia.
Unfortunately, Nwakaeme did not get the chance to play as he was an unused substitute in the games.
Nwakaeme can provide something different in the Eagles attack to complement  Odion Ighalo  as well as provide an alternative option as the only out and out striker.

OGHENEKARO ETEBO (Feirense, Portugal)
Oghenekaro Etebo’s last appearances for the Super Eagles were in the 2-0 defeat to South Africa in the 2019 AFCON qualifier and against Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in the 1-1 draw in Yaounde in a Russia 2018 qualifier.
At Feirense, Etebo is yet to miss any of Portuguese top flight game as he has appeared in all the club’s nine this season, scoring three goals
Etebo need to convince that he can be that Super-sub around the offensive midfield. Despite not yet playing in top flight leagues like Premiership or La Liga, Etebo has shown in the past that he possess what it takes to displace most of the first choice players.

OLA AINA (Liverpool)
The former England junior international made his debut for Nigeria in the 1-0 win against Zambia in Uyo.
Giving a rookie his debut in such a crucial game would have stunned a lot of people but Ola Aina impressed with the little time he spent on the pitch.
A versatile defender who can play in either full-back positions, Aina will be provide good back-up especially in the right-back spot.
Against Zambia, Aina showed that he is not just all about defending as he raced forward and laid a good cutback cross which Victor Moses failed to finish off.
Aina utility may earn him a place in final squad of the 2018 world cup in Russia.

MIKEL AGU (Bursaspor, Turkey)
Mikel Agu has come under serious criticism for his displays when called upon in the Super Eagles qualifiers.
Aside from the 4-0 win against Cameroon where he was not really examined properly, his performances in the games against Cameroon in Yaounde and Zambia in Uyo have not been encouraging.
But it could be argued that the nature of the games in Yaounde and Uyo ( versus Zambia) overwhelmed him hence is poor performances.
And the fact that he always get the nod whenever there is a substitution to be made in the Eagles’ midfield is an indication that the coaching crew have confidence in his ability.
It would be surprising to note that Agu, playing for Bursaspor, made the Turkish Super League Team of the Week for last weekend, getting the highest rating of 9.3.
Agu may have time over the preparation period to prove Nigerian fans why Gornet Rohr have so much confidence in him.

KENNETH OMERUO (Kasimpasa, Turkey)
Since his last appearance in the 3-1 win against Algeria in Uyo, Kenneth Omeruo has not featured for the Super Eagles again in any competitive game.
Omeruo was invited for the game against Bafana Bafana of South Africa but did not play in the game.
Despite not being invited for subsequent national team games, Omeruo has been regular for his Turkish club Kasimpasa, appearing in five of their nine league games this season.
Omeruo is surely needed in final squad of 2018 world cup Super Eagles team Central defence, in case Leon Balogun or Ekong cropped injury before or during games.
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HENRY ONYEKURU (Anderlecht)
Henry Onyekuru’s first invitation to the Super Eagles was in the 2-0 defeat to Bafana Bafana of South Africa in Group E 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in Uyo in June.
But he did not feature as he was an unused substitute in the game.
He was however placed on the Eagles’ standby list in the double-header against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.
Despite not being invited for the last qualifer against Chipolopolo of Zambia, Onyekuru has not allowed it to affect his club performance for Anderlecht.
Since joining the Belgian champions on loan from Everton, Onyekuru has scored six goals in 10 league games so far.
Onyekuru could be a super sub for Odion Ighalo going to the world cup. And if he continue his goal scoring spree in Begium league he may right contest for first team shirt before June 2018, when the mundial will commence.




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