By Izuchukwu Okosi
Super Eagles first choice goalkeeper at the 2018 World Cup Francis Uzoho may have been in action for only three matches at the tournament but his promising performances against Croatia, Iceland and Argentina have continued to reverberate.
The sports section of British tabloid Guardian on Sunday published on its verified twitter handle a team of eleven players and their substitutes they considered as the best ‘starting’ eleven of Russia 2018.
Nigeria shot stopper Uzoho who is struts his skills in the youth side of Deportivo La Coruna made the cut while new Stoke City midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo was named in the substitutes’ list.
The Guardian wrote of the impact of Uzoho:
“As one of only two goalkeepers under the age of 23 to have featured, the other being Tunisia’s Mouez Hassen, the teenager makes the cut almost by default but will still be relatively satisfied with his first major tournament despite Nigeria’s group-stage exit.
“Uzoho was largely helpless to prevent any of the four goals he conceded in the defeats by Croatia and Argentina and will surely improve with age.
“The next step for him is to gain first-team experience at Deportivo La Coruña, having spent the majority of last season in the reserves”.
France’s Benjamin Pavard, Colombia’s Yerry Mina and Uruguay’s Jose Maria Gimenez are the three established defenders named by Guardian to play in front of the former Nigerian youth international in their preferred 3-4-3 formation.
Meanwhile Etebo who made the Guardian’s Substitutes of the U-23s is set to join his English Championship side for their pre season trip ahead of the 2018/2019 season.