Nigerian fans awaited the announcement of the Super Eagles squad to face Mexico with great anticipation. The World Cup is fast approaching, and national team manager Stephen Keshi is running out of opportunities to assess players and decide on the final make-up of his squad ahead of the main event this summer.
The friendly against Mexico in early March provides an invaluable occasion for the “Big Boss” to assess some of his fringe players and to examine some figures who have been on the periphery of the squad over the last few months.
However, with every door opening and another player being invited to stake a claim for a spot on the plane, another sees his chances of travelling whittled away. As some sheep are welcomed (or return) to the fold, others are cast off and slip down the pecking order.
This article presents some of the winners and losers from the recently-announced Nigeria squad.
The complete squad for the March 5 friendly can be found here, courtesy of Goal Nigeria:
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille FC, France); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be'er Sheva, Israel)
Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Monaco FC, France); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor, Turkey); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough FC, England); Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod FC, Israel); Joseph Yobo (Norwich City, England); Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars)
Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Ramon Azeez (Almeria FC, Spain); Shehu Abdullahi (Kano Pillars); Ejike Uzoenyi (Enugu Rangers)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United, England); Victor Moses (Liverpool FC, England); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce FC. Turkey); Obinna Nsofor (Chievo Verona, Italy); Bright Dike (Toronto FC, Canada), Imoh Ezekiel (Standard Liege, Belgium); Michel Uchebo (Cercle Brugge, Belgium)