Nigeria's Sadiq Umar dribbles past Japan's Tsukasa Shiotani during a group B match of the men's Olympic football tournament between Japan and Nigeria at the Amazonia Arena, in Manaus, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Dantas)

The Five Nigerian Stars Capable of Replacing Victor Moses In The Super Eagles

 

Chelsea forward Victor Moses on Wednesday shocked his fans and the football world by announcing his international retirement just two months after playing for Nigeria at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Moses cited  his young family and need to give way to younger players as reasons why he is stepping away from the Super Eagles.

Newslegend.com.ng’s editor IZUCHUKWU OKOSI in this piece also published in some media outlets examines five great attacking talents that could replace the player who won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa…

 

Imoh Ezekiel (Kortrijk, Belgium)

An immensely talented Nigerian forward capable of replacing Victor Moses in the Super Eagles forward line is Imoh Ezekiel who this summer signed for Belgian side, Kortrijk.

Ezekiel was part of Nigeria’s 2016 Olympics Games campaign in Rio where his speed, dribbling wizardry and shooting ability were witnessed by the world.

He has just one senior international cap for Nigeria but could now be back for the three time African champions.

Ezekiel’s deft touches and style of play is similar to that of Napoli’s Dries Mertens and could be a fantastic heir to the position shockingly vacated by Moses.

Sadiq Umar (Rangers, Scotland)

Umar, just like Ezekiel, was in Nigeria’s squad to the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

The beanpole striker/forward who has been likened to Nigeria and Arsenal legend, Nwankwo Kanu, as well as Emmanuel Adebayor, is brilliant playing with his back to goal and linking up with his teammates.

Despite  his lanky frame and lazy demeanor, he whips in great crosses and ties defenders in ropes with his outstanding dribbles.

Umar’s versatility could be a ‘weapon of mass destruction’ for the Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr who is definitely looking forward to qualifying Nigeria for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Sikiru Olatunbosun (MFM, Nigeria)

A bit of unknown quantity for football fans outside Nigeria.

This nippy forward in February 2017 scored what the Cable News Network (CNN) awarded the goal of the week in world football after scoring a fantastic long range strike in a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) game against Enugu Rangers in a 2-1 win.

The goal beat other ‘world class’ goals scored by the more illustrious Radja Nainggolan of Roma, Youri Tielemans of Anderlecht and Joey Jones of Woking FC.

Olatunbosun is undoubtedly talented and could be the next gem that will take the game by storm.

His style of play is similar to that of former Nigerian international Julius Aghahowa.

The left winger who is sometimes deployed as a lone striker by his Nigerian club only needs to be more dedicated and disciplined to fulfil his potentials.

Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly, Egypt)

Once linked with Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon, former Shooting Stars FC of Ibadan (in the Nigerian top flight)  forward Ajayi is an integral part of Egyptian side Al Ahly.

Ajayi’s ammunition is not anew to the qualities of the other wingers and strikers above but he is certainty a good candidate to step into Moses’ boots.

Ajayi plays on the African continent but it is not a testament to the fact that his quality is not worthy of recognition by the Nigerian national team coaches.

Ajayi is fast and loves to play off the shoulders of defenders.  His link up plays are lovely. He can hit it and has the height to cause problems aerially for defenders.

 

Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux, France)

Former Gent of Belgium winger Samuel Kalu who has signed for French Ligue 1 side, Bordeaux, is a capable replacement for Victor Moses.

Kalu has pace in abundance and is adept playing from the left or right side of a front three.

Kalu played 32 league games for his former side in the Jupiler League and scored eight goals.

The crafty speedster has been handed the jersey number 10 for his new club.

 

Izuchukwu Okosi