thumbnail Hello,

The former national team defender has decried the lack of game time for some of the Super Eagles' star players ahead of the summer's trip to Brazil

Former Nigeria defender Waheed Akanni has expressed concern at the lack of playing time for some of the country's key players at their clubs as the World Cup approaches.

Chelsea's John Obi Mikel and Liverpool's Victor Moses are expected to lead the Super Eagles' challenge in Brazil less than two months from now, but they have been relegated to non-starting roles at their clubs.

While national team coach Stephen Keshi has expressed worry at this fact but said that the players are capable of great performances when playing, former defender Akanni feels this could impact on the team's chance to make good progress in South America.

“To be honest with you, Nigeria will do her best [at the World Cup] but I am not sure we will get to where a lot of people think we will get to in Brazil," Akanni told Goal.

"The reason is that a lot of our star players are not playing first team football right now and that is a big concern for even Stephen Keshi himself. So we have to be very careful," he said.

In addition, the former Howard University star said that if the Super Eagles reach beyond the second round, it would be a great achievement for the team.
 
“I think if we can get to the quarter-finals of this year’s World Cup we would have achieved a lot and I would be very happy with that. We have played in the second round before so the next should be at least the quarter finals stage," he said.
 
“But like I said earlier, a lot of our players are not playing first team football so getting to the quarter finals will be a big achievement. It’s a big concern to a lot of football followers and stakeholders that our star players have not been playing regularly for their clubs abroad.
 
“I can also tell you that the [scheduled] three international friendly matches may not be enough for the players because there is no way you can substitute playing regular football and playing friendly games.

"It is a different situation and different environment. Playing games week in, week out, of course, matters a lot and that is the honest truth about football,” Akanni concluded.

Related