Iwobi Good To Replace Okocha, Moses Has No Chelsea Future, NFF Should Go For Lookman: Five Things Learned From Nigerian Players' PerformancesPublished: October 23, 2018
Nigerian players were in action over the weekend and Monday for their respective clubs and had mixed results.
These are some of the things learned from how things panned out in some of the top leagues in Europe from Nigeria's perspective.
1. Victor Moses Has No Future In Chelsea
Chelsea were held to a 2-2 draw by visiting Manchester United at the Stamford Bridge on Saturday and Victor Moses was not listed by manager Maurizio Sarri.
Moses has only played two matches (26 minutes in total) for the Blues this season in the Premier League and is further adrift in the pecking order as regard right wingers at the club behind Willian and Pedro Rodriguez.
Sarri apparently does not reckon that Moses is good enough for his team and the best for the now retired Nigerian international is to find a new base possibly in the next transfer window.
A move to a mid table side in the English Premier League will do Moses' career a world of good.
There is no future for him at Chelsea under Sarri.
2. Iwobi Continues To Prove He Can Replace Jay Jay And Ramsey
There has been debate over who steps into the big shoes of legendary Austin Jay Jay Okocha as the quintessential number 10 for the Nigerian national team.
Arsenal's Alex Iwobi has been churning out impressive performances for the Gunners since the arrival of Unai Emery as head coach in place of Arsene Wenger after 22 years and has certainty proven that he is good enough (at least for now) to be handed the playmaker role vacated by his uncle, Okocha.
Iwobi was in superb form Monday night at the Emirates in their 3-1 win over Leicester City in which he was awarded the Man of the Match albeit few pundits in England questioned why it was not the mercurial Mesut Ozil who had one of his most spectacular games for the club.
3. Onazi Fitness Is Vital For Bafana Bafana Clash
The Super Eagles will miss the services of Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi in next month's 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa due to suspension after picking up two yellow cards against Libya.
Losing such a key player against a tough African opponents is bad news but his absence can be compensated by Ogenyi Onazi.
Onazi has his fair share of critics who feel his best game for Nigeria was in the Last of 16 clash against France in 2014 - and has not been impressive ever since.
Nonetheless he is one of the most experienced players in the Eagles and playing in same position as Ndidi, he needs to be in top shape ahead of that clash.
Onazi played only 45 minutes of Trabzonspor's Super Lig game against Buyuksehir Belediye Erzurumspor on Monday evening which ended scoreless.
The former youth international who welcomed his second child few days ago did not complete that game but hopefully it has nothing to do with injury.
4. Ademola Lookman For Future Super Eagles Invitation?
Everton defeated Crystal Palace 2-0 over the weekend after two inspired substitutions by manager Marco Silva.
England youth international Ademola Lookman born of Nigerian descent was the assist maker for the Toffees' first goal scored by Dominic Calvert-Lewin, a cross into the Eagles' (Crystal Palace) eighteen yard box which Lewin dispatched with a header.
Lookman is reportedly keen to represent Nigeria, his parents' nation at the senior level and although he will not be expected to displace established first team regulars at least in the beginning, if he continues to deliver for his club as he did on Sunday afternoon and not go back on his wishes to play for Nigeria, then he should be considered for an invitation in the future.
5. Injury Worries Mounting For Gernot Rohr
Ahead of the 2019 AFCON qualifier against South Africa, Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rhor must be praying that he can have his key players fit for the game.
Oghenekaro Etebo, Henry Onyekuru and Kenneth Omeruo have all copped one degree of injury or the other this past weekend.
The Eagles' list for the South Africa clash should be released a week before hand and having a full complimentary of his team must be uppermost in Rohr's mind.
Some Nigerians might suggest that Rohr should go for home based players but while it is very important that the home based lads get a look-in, no nation goes to war without their best warriors and Rohr definitely sees the foreign legion as the country's best bet for key matches.
A sprinkle of home based talents deserve their chances but the injury nightmares to some of Nigeria's best players is worrying, that needs to ease before the trip to South Africa.
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