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Afcon 2021: Top Nigerian Stars To Miss Out On Upcoming Nations Cup

Posted by on December 27, 2021 0


A 28-man squad list has been announced by the NFF, but some big names have been omitted

Four goalkeepers, nine defenders, five midfielders and ten attackers make up the 28-man list which the Super Eagles interim manager Augustine Eguavoen has submitted to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for the African Cup of Nations in January.

Asides the exclusions of Oghenekaro Etebo and Paul Onuachu due to injuries, the omission of some names who fans thought would be shoo-ins for the Super Eagles travelling squad have elicited different reactions from Nigerian fans.

GOAL brings you six of the biggest names to miss out of Afcon for Nigeria.

Tyronne Ebuehi

The Benfica man, on loan at Italian Serie A club Venezia has struggled for game time with the Super Eagles since making the switch from Dutch football.

There’s a lack of attacking creativity from Nigeria’s full backs, and Ebuehi could have been an option to explore as Nigeria seeks to provide more goalscoring opportunities for the high-flying attack line.

Cyriel Dessers

His ostracism from the Super Eagles squad has continued in the team’s new dispensation.

The Feyenoord striker has been in fine form since the last time he donned the Super Eagles colours, but has once again been ignored in the setup.

His exclusion from the squad this time around is understandable, as the attack line is currently stacked. He can count himself unlucky to just miss out on the tournament.

Kevin Akpoguma

The Hoffenheim centre-back has been in fine form for the German side, who currently sit in fifth place in the Bundesliga.

His four goals (two goals and two assists) contribution to the club’s top four challenge also show that he’s as reliable as many of his teammates in the other half of the table as well.

With Nigeria’s current centre-back options almost never contributing in attack, Akpoguma could have been a revelation.

Ademola Lookman

With Nigeria lacking in creativity and speed down the left wing, the former England youth international could have been a breath of fresh air.

The speedy winger would have challenged captain Ahmed Musa for his place, or could have been an amazing option to have on the bench against teams like Egypt.

The Leicester City man has two Premier League goals to his name, with his most recent strike coming in his side’s 6-3 defeat by reigning champions Manchester City.

Calvin Bassey

Like Akpoguma, the versatile defender Bassey has been in outstanding form representing Nigeria abroad. He is perhaps the omission that has sparked the most controversy and uproar among fans.

At Rangers, he is teammates with Leon Balogun, who is one half of the preferred centre back options for Nigeria. He has proven to be an amazing deputy for Balogun in club colours, begging the question of why he was completely ignored by Eguavoen.

The Super Eagles could have done with Bassey’s hard tackling style and forward runs as they face what could arguably be the best generation of African players in recent times in this edition of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Akinkunmi Amoo

The U-21 international is yet to get a call-up by the Super Eagles but is already a fan favourite among Nigerian fans and fans of his club Hammarby IF in Sweden.

Dubbed Nigeria’s Messi, a big dribbler and a speedy trickster like Amoo could have been the perfect wildcard for a squad with few at the moment.

However, given the attacking names in the squad list, it is understandable to see why a player like Amoo was ignored. 

His time will come soon enough for sure, but many still claim he should have been given a run-in with the team already.

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