Eight Nigerian Stars Who Deserve Provisional AFCON Squad Selection But Dropped
Published: May 16, 2019
Eight Nigerian Stars Who Deserve Provisional AFCON Squad Selection But DroppedThe Super Eagles Provisional list for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations was released on Tuesday with few misgivings over the composition of the squad.

However there were some players who deserved such invitations but were overlooked.

Allnigeriasoccer.com's Izuchukwu Okosi runs the rule on eight Nigerian players that should have been considered for the pre-AFCON camping in Asaba in June.

1. Uche Agbo

The Rayo Vallecano defender cum midfielder was always invited for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers by Gernot Rohr but was never played in any of the matches.

When the names of players dropped from the World Cup squad was announced it did not shock the player who rightly stated that the head coach cannot call him a bad or poor player since he was handed the opportunity that he deserves.

Agbo moved from Standard Liege to Rayo Vallecano and his versatility, minutes played so far in the La Liga and dedication ought to have seen him included on Rohr's list.

2. Anthony Nwakaeme

As a striker you scored ten league goals in the Turkish top flight but overlooked in the provisional squad for the Africa Cup of Nations?

That will fill any player with a sense of injustice especially when a few on the list has not been as prolific as you are this season.

Anthony Nwakaeme ought to have at least been invited for the pre AFCON camping in Asaba.

3. Mfon Udoh

The talk over having some reasonable number of home based players named in the Super Eagles for major tournaments seems like a discourse that will never cease to infuriate loyal fans of the NPFL because in the end only the third choice goalkeeper at best makes a team of 23.

Mfon Udoh is the leading scorer in the NPFL with goals and the record top scorer in the Nigerian league is not given a chance to at least stake a claim in the Eagles team for the Nations Cup.

That sounds disrespectful and unappreciative of the league that produced most of the players on the list.

4. Stephen Eze

This central defender was touted as an emerging talent after the 2018 Africa Nations Championship in Morocco thanks to his Taribo West-esque style of play.

However despite posting a good season for Locomotive Plovdiv with 25 league games and 2,250 minutes he was not considered for the provisional squad even if a place in the final selection might be considered a tad difficult.

5. Simeon Nwankwo

Despite playing for Crotone in the Serie B, Simy Nwankwo is still one of the most prolific Nigerian strikers in Europe.

Some of the players on the 25-man provisional squad ply their skills in the second tier of the country's league they play in.

Nwankwo may ultimately not make the cut but if form is a yardstick in measuring such invitations he may feel unjustly shunned by the team coaches.

6. Kingsley Sokari

Lack of creativity has been said to be the bane of the Super Eagles midfield especially in the absence of John Mikel Obi and there are some attacking midfield players that can do a decent job in that department - Kingsley Sokari is good enough to step into that role.

The former Enyimba star who turns 24 on May 30 is one of the key players for Tunisian side CS Sfaxien and has been impressive in league and CAF Confederation Cup duties.

7. Stephen Odey

Former MFM FC of Lagos striker Stephen Odey is one of the young generation of Nigerian strikers expected to be the Super Eagles stars of the near future.

Ten goals in 30 league games for FC Zurich in addition to some promising performances in the Europa League should be deemed okay to invite a player of Odey's talent to the Eagles' Asaba camp in early June.

At least the gradual integration to the team begins with such encouraging  invitations.

8. Taiwo Awoniyi

Royal Excel Mouscron striker Taiwo Awoniyi has scored seven goals in nine matches for the Belgian First Division A club.

If some attackers named by Rohr have performed and scored less than Awoniyi this season, then it is unjust not to have this lad in the team's provisional squad at least.

Izuchukwu Okosi
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