Nigeria has players capable of winning group B ticket, says Lawal
Super Eagles’ former midfielder, Garba Lawal, has joined the league of experts, who believe that Nigeria has the quality in players to beat all the other teams in Africa’s Group B of the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying series.
Super Eagles new sensation, Alex Iwobi, gave a man-of-the-match performance during Arsenal FC’s 3-0 defeat of Chelsea in the English Premiership at the weekend, just as Kelechi Iheanacho, Odion Ighalo, Isaac Success, Leon Balogun, William Trost-Ekong and Carl Ikeme, among others, have been in impressive form for their various clubs.
Nigeria will play its first game in the World Cup qualifying series on October 9 away to the Chipolopolo of Zambia. The match fixed for Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola will set the tone for the Eagles’ subsequent matches against their other opponents, including Algeria and Cameroun.
Lawal, who said a player like Kelechi Iheanacho of Manchester City brings good tidings to the nation, urged Coach Gernot Rohr to consider inviting another talent, one Uche Henry Agbo, who plays for Granada FC in the La Liga.
Agbo was part of the national U-20 team in 2013. The player on loan at Granada signed a four-year deal with Udinese of Italy. Lawal told The Guardian yesterday that he was optimistic that the Eagles’ technical adviser would not regret picking Agbo, adding that with players like the former junior international, the country now has youngsters ready to take Nigeria back to the top of African football.
“The other time I spoke about the inclusion of Isaac Success in the Eagles’ team, I am glad he has now been invited for the trip to Zambia. I have never met Success before, but one thing that I do is to watch our players in their clubs in Europe and Success has impressed me a lot.
“I know injury slowed him down at the beginning of the season, if not, we would have seen how good he is, especially as he now plays for Watford FC in the English Premiership. I am sure Nigerians will not regret seeing him adorning the country’s colours. The little time he spent on the field against Manchester United was enough to show that he has enormous talent,” he said.
The former Roda JC star eulogised Iwobi: “That boy Iwobi was a fantastic player in the match they won against Chelsea. That kind of performance is what we want to see in our players in their respective clubs in Europe.
“Another new sensation is Agbo, who plays for Grenada; he is talented and can play anywhere. Naturally, he plays either the defensive midfield or the central defence. This versatility tells you how good the boy is and I have watched him play week in, week out and I can tell you that the boy has a future with the national team. All these boys that I am discussing here, I do not know them, but at least I can always contribute my quota in order for the nation to succeed. I pray we qualify for Russia,” he stated.
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