5 NPFL Stars who should be considered for the Super Eagles squad
Super Eagles manager Jose Peseiro has shown himself to have fallen in love with the Nigeria job and experiences that come with it. The Portuguese tactician joined the Nigerian Coaches Association a few months back, and was spotted at a number of NPFL23 matches in the country. He was also in Egypt to follow the progress of the Flying Eagles at the ongoing U-20 AFCON.
The former FC Porto manager has the task of picking a squad to represent Nigeria at this month’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifying double-header against Guinea-Bissau. The side recorded wins in their first two games against Sierra Leone and Sao Tome & Principle, and the coach will be hopeful of maintaining the good momentum for the rest of the campaign.
After his observation of the local league games this season, it is possible that Peseiro has identified certain players who can contribute positively to the team in their quest for an AFCON ticket. Without further ado, here are five NPFL players who should be considered by the Portuguese coach ahead of the qualifiers this month.
#5 Amas Obasogie
Experienced goalkeeper Amas Obasogie has seen it all with Bendel Insurance. He played for the Benin Arsenal the last time they were in the NPFL and got relegated, sticking with the side until their eventual promotion last season.
Obasogie has played all nine matches for Bendel Insurance this season as captain, keeping seven clean sheets and conceding only three goals as the Benin Arsenal sit atop the standings midway through the season. With the lack of minutes of Maduka Okoye this season and emergence of Adebayo Adeleye, the excellent Obasogie should be included in the Super Eagles squad.
#4 Cyril Olisema
Akwa United midfield maestro Cyril Olisema is back in the league and back in form after joining the Promise Keepers following a brief stint in Saudi Arabia with AlKawkab. The midfielder has also featured for NPFL giants Enyimba in recent seasons.
Since returning to Uyo, his old stomping ground, Olisema has impressed for Akwa United. The experienced midfielder has scored three goals for his side in the NPFL this season. With the Super Eagles midfield lacking a bit of quality in recent months, Olisema may have a good impact on the team, if selected.
#3 Akanni Elijah
Former MFM FC midfielder Akanni Elijah has enjoyed a successful start to life in Aba. The diminutive midfielder joined Enyimba from MFM following the Lagos-based side’s relegation to the NNL.
The young midfielder has found the net twice for the People’s Elephant so far this season and has played a starring role in the middle of the park. Elijah will provide a different profile for the Super Eagles with his creative passing and ability to shoot from range.
#2 Ifeanyi Emmanuel
Plateau United defender Ifeanyi Onyebuchi Emmanuel has enjoyed a fruitful season in front of goal for the Peace Boys. The defender has impressed for Plateau United in the NPFL this season as one of their standout performers.
Ifeanyi has scored four goals for Plateau United as the side is in search of success in the league. His form for the club may have caught the eyes of the Super Eagles selectors.
#1 Imade Osarenkhoe
An engineer by training, Bendel Insurance striker Imade Osarenkhoe has been the revelation of the season in the NPFL. The University of Benin graduate has scored six goals for the Benin Arsenal this season.
Osarenkhoe has been one of the most consistent performers in the NPFL this season. His performance for Bendel Insurance has seen him catch the eyes of many within and outside the country. The lanky striker is one player who may be on the radar of the Super Eagles coach this month.