The truth be told, the Super Eagles need strikers in form to cage the Indomitable Lions in the upcoming World Cup qualifier double-header in late August and early September.
With the European season just kicking off, most of the players that Gernot Rohr would have penciled down for the encounter would just be getting into match mode, which is why it is important he considers a player like Anthony Nwakaema, who plays for Hapoel Beer Sheva in Israel.
The 28-year-old has never been considered for a call up to the Super Eagles but this is one occasion where functionality and availability should precede Rohr’s thinking. We have all heard that the German is building a young and exciting Eagles’ team – all well and good; but there are players he needs in his team, especially against Cameroon.
And one of those is Nwakaeme. After scoring 16 goals and assisting 11 times last season, he is already off the mark for his club side, who have to navigate two rounds before qualifying for the Champions League group stage, despite being champions of the Israeli League.
Hapoel got the better of Hungarian side, Budapest Honved 5-3 on aggregate on Wednesday. Nwakaeme delivered two goals and an assist in the five goals as John Ogu also got on the score sheet.
These two players have started the season early and would be in good condition to face the Indomitable Lions, who have to be dominated, at least in one of the two legs to leave the fate of qualifying for Russia solely in the team’s hands.
Watch his goals here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1IG2JJvVP4
Nwakaeme is also big and burly and would suit the ‘jam-body’ tactics that are expected from the Lions. He can start from the left – from where he does his best work, supported by Odion Ighalo, who is also in good condition and scoring goals in China.
These inclusions might not suit the template that Rohr is forging but there are signs that it would get his team to Russia. After qualification has been extracted, then he can resume rebuilding the Eagles to his taste!
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