Five youngsters proving future of Super Eagles’ central defence is bright
In Africa, Nigeria may be famed for constantly producing good attacking footballers while the national teams defence struggles, but there are are a number talented centre backs coming through who are looking to buck that trend.
Since Uche Okechukwu and Pastor Taribo West commanded the Super Eagles back four in the ninety’s Nigeria have struggled to develop a world-class partnership at the back.
However the future finally looks bright for the centre of Nigeria defence.
There are also a number of youngsters coming through in the Nigeria Professional Football League ready to challenge for the national team, and below are five centre backs, all under 22, who are set to have big futures in club football and more importantly the senior national team.
5. Adekunle Adeleke – Abia Warriors
Comfortable playing along the backline, Adeleke can also employed at right-back, but its in the centre where the defender has excelled.
Tall, fast and with excellent technique, Adeleke has everything a modern footballer needs. If his rapid development continues he has the capabilities to become one of the best centre halves in the Super Eagles.
4. Igoh Ogbu – Lillestrom
Ogbu is now showing potential that many believe will see him develop into a better player. Tall, strong and tenacious, the former Flying Eagles defender shows a great determination to tackle and beat his opponents, while he also has a passing range able to pick out a teammate from anywhere on the pitch. He is yet to make his senior national team debut, but with his rapid development this season, that first cap surely won’t be too far away
3. Valentine Ozornwafor – Galatasaray
Strength is Valentine’s main attribute, but he is also excellent in the air and loves to fly into tackles, which can sometimes lead to the odd foul.
He certainly has the capability to challenge for a starting spot in the Galatasaray team next season. Playing against the worlds best attackers for Valentine will only improve and that could lead him to becoming first choice for Nigeria.
2. Chinonso Offor Nnamdi – Chicago Fire
Offor is a defender also capable of playing for the Super Eagles. He has been a regular this season, impressing with his calmness in possession and impeccably timed tackles.
The Chicago Fire man has good pace, which means he is rarely in trouble with balls over the top. If he continues to develop in the MLS, a place in the Eagles eleven is a possibility.
1. Lucky Opara – Oulu
Opara has all the attributes a modern footballer needs, and is particularly strong in the air, while his positional sense is exceptional. He will undoubtedly learn a lot from playing against some of the best teams in Finland this season.