World Cup Wildcard: Five Players Who May Break Into Super Eagles Team At the Eleventh Hour?


Of course, Gernot Rohr and his coaching crew would have made up their mind on 90% of players they would be taking to Russia for the 2018 edition of FIFA World Cup. Yet, there are still grey areas in the Nigeria national team that needed to be attended to urgently.

Well, as most coaches will tell you, no team is ever perfect... there's  always area to be tweeted a little to make the team better. Prevailing circumstances could make Rohr call up an entirely new player into the squad.

One area many analysts are still pointing to is what they call "The Goakeeping Crisis." Rohr may have made up his mind on young Depotivo La Coruna Second choice goalkeeper Uzoho and to back him up with Enyimba home boy Ikechukwu Ezenwa and probably Daniel Akpaeyi who keeps for Mameldo Sun Down in South Africa. Yet, these analysts are hoping the Super Eagles may suddenly call up Dele Ayenugba or Austin Ejide at this eleventh hour.

1. Dele Ayenugba has always walked in the shadow of goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama right from their days in Enyimba and the national team. Ayenugba was signed to replace Enyeama iin Hapoel Ashkelon F.C in 2006.  Till date, he remain the first choice goalkeeper of the Israeli Premier League side.

Dele popularly known as "Penalty Stopper," has maintained a credible performance over the years and his experience at the big stage cannot be discounted. We was one of the back up goalkeepers for Enyeama at the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa. Now Enyeama have refused to return to Super Eagles, would you give Ayenugba a Wild Card at this eleventh hour?


2. Austin Ejide is another goslkeeper that gave Vincent Enyeama competitive fight for the first choice spot at national team ovet the years. Ejide currently mann the post for Hapoel Hadera F.C and his performance hasn't been in doubt.

A lot of analyst believe Ejide is far better than these crop of young goalkeepers and his experience would be brought to play in the biggest football stage in Russia. Ejide was also a back up for Enyeama in 2010 world cup in South Africa. It hasn't be easy to lay him aside and some anslysrs argued that if El Hadary, the 45 years goalkeeper of Tunisia will be going to Russia, then Ejide is in no way too old to mann the post for Nigeria. Would you give him a wildcard at this eleventh hour?

Another grey area that has been a great concern to Nigerian fans is the striking role. First choice striker Odion Ighalo hasn't been very effective in scoring goals lately for both club and national team. And many analysts said Kelechi Iheanacho is not an outright striker and cannot play in that role effectively. With the formation Gernot Rohr love playing 4-2-3-1, require a fast an tenacious striker that is highly efficient in goal scoring, even with half chances.


3. Junior Lokosa of Kano Pillars, I know many will wave him aside, saying Nigeria pro football league is a much lower level. But the diminutive striker is firing from all cylinders and scoring world class goals. 14 goals in 14 games, far better than any Nigerian striker anywhere in the world today.

Lokosa is very fast, tenacious and ruthless in front of goal post and his current form may be required to execute the world cup, especially if Ighalo continue to fire over the bar. Would you give Lokosa a wild card...an eleventh hour call up.

4.  Brown Ideye resurgence has been remarkable since he came to Spanish Malaga on loan from Chinese Super League teamTianjin TEDA. He has scored twice and has spearheaded the strike force of the La liga side in their struggle out of relegation waters.

Ideye is fast and tenacious in his approach to the game.  His work rate in putting constant pressure on the defenders is something so remarkable, which Nigeria national team could use to their advantage. Ideye is one of alternate players of 2014 Fifa World cup in Brazil and his experience can be brought to bear in this edition in Russia. Would want to give Ideye a Wild card at this eleventh hour?

5. Godfrey Oboabona is one of the most influential central defender Nigeria took to the 2014 fifa world cup in Brazil. He currently plays a central midfield role in his Saudi Arabia club Al-Ahli FC and also command a lot influence in the middle east club.

Most analysts have said Nigeria chances of progressing in this summer's Fifa world cup would largely depend on how well they defend their opponents' onslaught. We envisage that Super Eagles defenders will face a lot of pressure in Russia and injury as well as card suspensions are most likely to occur. Finding a replacement for players like Leon Balogun and William Ekong may be key for survival as the competition progresses.

Oboabona experience and marturity in the game could make the difference when things get tough, especially as he can play comfortably in both central defense and central midfield roles. Would give Oboabona a wild card at this eleventh hour?

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