By Alexander Johnson Adejoh
The Nigerian national team are determined to make their mark at the 2022 World Cup. They have a healthy core group of players in Europe and the team is definitely on the rise.
At the moment the squad under coach Gernot Rohr are getting ready for World Cup qualifying in 2021. They are in Group C with Cape Verde, Liberia, and the Central African Republic.
This is the line up of talent that supporters are expecting to take them into the big time.
- Kelechi Iheanacho
One of Nigeria’s best players, Kelechi Iheanacho has already made a name for himself after signing up with Manchester City in 2015. He now plays for Leicester City where he has scored 9 goals in 74 games for the Foxes.
With the Super Eagles, he has earned 27 caps and scored 9 goals. Although he did not make the final 23 man roster for the 2018 World Cup, he is likely to be a key figure in the lead up to the 2022 tournament.
- Alex Iwobi
Alex Iwobi has been a solid player for the Super Eagles, having spent his whole career in the EPL, playing 100 games for Arsenal and now at Everton. Iwobi played with the English youth national team before choosing to play for Nigeria.
With the Super Eagles, he has 7 goals in 42 caps, with two goals against Argentina in a friendly in 2017. Iwobi will be one of the nation’s key players to take Nigeria to the next level at the 2022 World Cup.
- Victor Osimhen
The Napoli youngster has already cracked the starting 11 for the Serie A side. After coming on to the scene at Wolfsburg, Osimhen is now at Napoli having scored 2 goals in 6 games. He has a lethal record for Nigeria, with 4 goals in 9 caps for the Super Eagles, and without doubt is one of the country’s top prospects.
- Samuel Chukwueze
The young Villarreal midfielder has been in Spain since 2018 moving up from the youth team to the senior squad. With well over 71 appearances in La Liga, Chukwueze is gaining good experience for his young age.
He has earned 15 caps with the Super Eagles and will be looking to build on his already impressive reputation during the next round of international call ups.
- Henry Onyekuru
This player is a tough winger and has started to earn playing time at Monaco. While at Galatasary, he won both the Turkish Super League title and Turkish Cup. At the international level, he has earned 12 caps for the Super Eagles and scored 2 goals. He could be a very important player in the future for the national team.
- Wilfred Ndidi
The Leicester City defensive midfielder has firmly established himself in the EPL with well over 100 appearances for the Foxes. He is best known for his tough defensive play and long-range strikes to goal. At the national team level, he has played over 30 times for the Super Eagles and could be a great asset for the team in their run-up to the 2022 World Cup.
- Joe Aribo
The 24-year-old has made a good splash for the Super Eagles scoring 2 goals in 4 caps. The Rangers midfielder has been a steady contributor since his arrival in 2019. A good box to box midfielder he has a nose for goal, scoring against none other than Brazil in an international friendly in October of 2019.
- Umar Sadiq
The young forward who plays for Almeria has found a home in Spain where he has already scored 1 goal in his first 5 appearances. He had a very good run at Serbian giants, Partizan.
A tall forward who is good in the air, this could be his breakout year where he works his way into the national team. In total, he has 28 goals in 85 league games.
- Taiwo Awoniyi
At 23 Awoniyi has already had a journeyman’s career. He has gone on loan to various clubs although he is officially tied to Liverpool. Many have compared him to Rashidi Yekini, Nigeria’s all-time top scorer.
He is tall and can be effective in the air and when receiving crosses. He has represented Nigeria in all of their youth teams and has yet to earn his first cap. He has the skills and the talent but he needs to find a home and consistency.
- Moses Simon
Simon is looking to get back on the national team radar after not being called up to the squad for the recent round of international fixtures. The forward has good skill but has yet to impress, he recently moved to Nantes in France where he had a very successful loan spell.
With Nigeria, he has 5 goals in 33 caps. If Simon can find a consistent scoring touch he could be very helpful for Nigeria down the road. His last goal for the National team came in March 2019. The talent is there, all he needs to do is keep it consistent.