The Super Eagles of Nigeria are preparing for the AFCON 2022 qualifier with a double friendly in the on-going international break.
However, there are necessities that should be taken care of with immediate effect on the team.
Despite having a young team which is very much laden with quality, there are great needs for certain players to fill in some necessary void in the Super Eagles team.
It will go a long way in preparing them for big games (tough battles) in the future, even as competition would be achieved among the Eagles mix.
With these players absent despite being talked about in the Nigeria football hemisphere, we try to highlight them with regards to their urgent importance to the present side under the watch of manager Gernot Rohr.
Kelechi Nwakali (UD Huesca, Spain)
The talented midfielder may have struggled to find his feet as a player but his U-17 exploits as the Captain of the triumphant Golden Eagles of 2015 is still strongly remembered by Nigerian fans.
He’s been overtaken by his fellow U-17 colleagues in Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli) and winger Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal).
Both have gone to make their debut for the Super Eagles even as they were both on the score sheet against Lesotho, with Osimhen being the catalyst on that occasion.
However, Nigerians are beginning to glamour for his services in the team, especially as the Super Eagles side is in dire need of an attacking midfielder who can link the play (midfield) to the attack in transition.
Ovie Ejaria (Reading, England)
Despite the news that the player has dumped England to play for Nigeria as interest wasn’t coming from the British nation, he is yet to be called up to the Super Eagles.
It was earlier reported in the media that his paperwork has been submitted to FIFA for his change of allegiance to the country of his parents.
But nothing concrete has emanated from that situation as it regards Ovie Ejaria being certified to play for Nigeria.
Though the team has got the talent of Joe Aribo, Alex Iwobi and Wilfred Ndidi going for them in the midfield, however, Ejaria is needed as soon as possible in the current young team.
To some extent, the wingers are struggling to provide the final ball because they’ve got more work to do to make the assist for the central striker. But, Ejaria has got what it takes to make it easy on the pitch for Nigeria.
He can release the winger like Samuel Kalu and Moses Simon to a great effect while coordinating proceedings in midfield as a matter of his true quality.
Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace, England)
The Crystal Palace star has moved from QPR (Queens Park Rangers) to the Selhurst Park after an eventful season in the English Championship.
He’s been awesome for the Blue and White even as they failed to make it to the Premier League. He’s been praised by Palace boss Roy Hodgson with hope for the future.
Despite joining the club (Crystal Palace) just last month, his performance shows that barring injury Crystal Palace may not be able to keep him at the club for a long time.
He’s been linked with the prospect of joining up with Nigeria’s Super Eagles. However, his inability to decide for Nigeria is making the fans to lose sleep over his availability for the Super Eagles.
How well he’s needed is a proof of Nigeria’s interest to solidify the midfield with his immense talent on the pitch.
LaLiga: Why David Luiz did not join Real Madrid after leaving Arsenal
Real Madrid manager, Carlo Ancelotti, was keen to bring David Luiz to the club this summer, but the club never tabled an offer for the player, Globo reports.
Ancelotti is believed to have made contact with Luiz, who he worked together with at Chelsea.
The 34-year-old became a free agent this summer, having seen his contract with Arsenal expire at the end of June.
However, he has now returned to his native Brazil to sign with Flamengo, putting pen to paper on a 15-month contract.
It ended Luiz’s 15-year playing career in Europe.
But things would have been different if Madrid presented an offer for the experienced centre back.
The LaLiga giants allowed captain Sergio Ramos leave this summer, while Raphael Varane signed for Manchester United.
David Alaba arrived at the Bernabeu on a free transfer over the summer, but the La Liga giants are said to be determined to bring another centre-back to the club in 2022.
Serie A: Mourinho’s Roma tipped to win title
Former Inter Milan president, Massimo Moratti, has said Roma are title contenders under new manager Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho won the Treble at Inter Milan under Moratti during his first spell in Italy.
According to Moratti, his return to Serie A makes Roma one of the teams to watch out for.
“I follow the league with great attention.
“Mourinho has revived the competition, he started very well.
“Serie A has one more team, Roma, who will aim for the title. Someone like Mourinho is not aiming for third place,” Moratti said.
Mourinho only joined Roma this year, after he was sacked as Tottenham Hotspur manager.
2022 WORLD CUP Salah Among Absentees as African Qualifying Resumes
Africa’s second round of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup is set to kick off with some notable absentees – Mohamed Salah, among them – after the refusal of British clubs to release players for various matches.
Premier League clubs have led the way in refusing permission for players to head to countries on the British government’s Covid red list, which would require 10 days of quarantine upon their return.
With Egypt one of 17 African countries on the red list, Liverpool superstar Salah will miss this week’s home match against Angola in Cairo but could play in Gabon, which is not on the list, next week.
Quarantine conditions meant he could have been one of several internationals to miss multiple games, said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
“As clubs we cannot do that – not only because we play games in that time, but because without being positive (for coronavirus) they lose 10 days of training,” he said.
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