Nigeria are among 21 nations confirmed of a place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Like their counterparts from the rest of the world, the Super Eagles have swiftly begun preparations for the global showpiece.
While certain members of Gernot Rohr’s team are all but certain to be on the flight to Eastern Europe, few others are having sleepless nights.
Here are three of such players who risk losing their places in the team.
- Elderson Echiejile
At the moment, Elderson Echiejile is Rohr’s indispensable first choice at left-back. But that may change should the Sivasspor man fail to step up his game before next year’s competition. Echiejile has come under fire for his underwhelming performances in recent times. With Ola Aina now in the mix, the 29-year-old may likely lose his spot to the youngster if nothing is done.
- Ahmed Musa
Exactly this time in 2015, Ahmed Musa was made Nigeria’s skipper. Two years after, the 24-year-old is grappling with both his national and club future. Musa’s career has somewhat taken an awkward turn after his move to Leicester City last season. Lack of club football has made him drop down in Rohr’s pecking order behind Victor Moses, Moses Simon and Alex Iwobi. And if nothing changes before next summer, Musa may not even make the squad to the Mundial.
- Mikel Agu
Mikel Agu was very much confirmed of his seat on the flight to Russia before his abysmal cameo display against Zambia. Indeed, the 24-year-old is talented with similar playing style with his idol, Mikel Obi. But the Bursaspor’s midfielder’s flaws came to the fore immediately he replaced Ogenyi Onazi last Saturday. Now, the unforgiving eyes of Nigerians are on the player who will need something of a miracle to change their perception.