A 23-man list with 7 on standby for Nigeria’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Cameroon was released late on Tuesday and there really wasn’t any major talking point from Gernot Rohr’s selection.
Rohr handed first time invitations to Forward, Anthony Nwakaeme and young defender, Ola Aina.
— The NFF 🇳🇬 (@thenff) August 22, 2017
Nwakaeme’s invitation will excite those who have followed his steady growth with Israeli side Hapoel Be’er Sheva in the last couple of seasons.
His best so far saw him notch up 18 goals in all competitions as the Camels secured a domestic double.
He was also on the verge of inspiring them to a UEFA Champions League spot this season, but the team tripped at the finish line.
Hapoel Be’er Sheva lost on away goals rule after winning 2-1 at home but lost 1-0 on Tuesday night to Astana.
Nwakaeme has displayed his knack for scoring goals, no matter where he plays on the pitch.
He also possess physical attributes and subtle dribbling abilities both of which he uses to his advantage against defenders.
The other new face in the team is 20-year-old Ola Aina who will continue with his first senior career with Hull City on loan from Chelsea.
Aina caught the attention of the Eagles handler during Nigeria’s camping in England early in the year.
Nigeria was supposed to play Senegal and Burkina Faso with Aina one of the players who ended up in a make shift team against the Eagles after Burkina Faso botched.
The NFF moved swiftly to snap up the defender who has only represented England at the junior level – 37 times – , perhaps Amaju Pinnick’s high level connect in FIFA ensuring the nationality switch was swiftly taken care of.
There isn’t much to say about the 20-year-old who will be playing his biggest game, should he be selected, when Nigeria face Cameroon in the World Cup qualifiers.
Every other name on the list – but Tyronne Ebuehi – are the regulars, including some returnees left out either through injury or fatigue.
Rohr is simply going to sit back and allow the experience of his trusted players do the playing.
After the defeat to South Africa, and backlash for his selection the 64-year-old has presumably given up on extreme sports – in a manner of speaking – opting for the easy road.
With the players invited, the German feels a certain level of trust and understanding.
He truly foundered it against South Africa, he tried to ring the changes on his selection, but it proved counter-productive.
So, he has decided to travel a familiar route with same trusted sentries for companions.
The list is one of convenience and in defence of the handler, he doesn’t need any drama especially now that the team can consolidate on its position on the table.
Let Cameroon worry about which players to hold off Mikel, Moses and Ighalo.
There isn’t so much to see here.