Nigeria’s last two 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying games against the Benin Republic and Lesotho presents the opportunity for a number of players to stake a claim for a prominent role in the side.
Here, Sports247 highlights three players with something to prove:
3. Maduka Okoye
Publicly backed as the Super Eagles’ first-choice goalkeeper by Gernot Rohr, the Sparta Rotterdam’s no.1 needs a strong showing in both games to further strengthen his case, and especially, after receiving plenty of criticisms for letting in four goals against Sierra Leone last November.
Okoye has been in inspired form in the Dutch top-flight for Sparta in his debut season. Replicating his club performance on the national scene will earn him more trust.
2. Henry Onyekuru
Drafted in for the injured Samuel Kalu, Onyekuru has it all to do if he wants to be
certainty in the Nigerian side with the Super Eagles currently stacked in the attacking department.
The winger hasn’t had a standout performance in the green-white-green jersey. No better time than now with Roth’s more preferred wing options (Kalu, Moses Simon, Ahmed Musa) unavailable.
1. Paul Onuachu
Onuachu was omitted from the initial 24-man list despite being the highest scoring Nigerian in Europe’s top divisions this season with 25 goals for Genk.
While he has always been prominent at the club level, the same cannot be said of his national team career.
Onuachu desperately needs to perform if he does get the chance and that might be the turning point on a subpar international career to date.