Top Five: Super Eagles who should have been considered for Seychelles showdown

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Nigeria host Seychelles in Friday's Afcon qualifying fixture, but which players should have been considered for the continental clash?

  1. Villarreal/Twitter

    #1 Samuel Chukwueze

    Admittedly, prior to his brilliant strike to seal a 2-0 win for Villarreal against Levante, the 19-year-old had been silent since the turn of the year.

    However, his 45-minute mature showing on his Nigeria debut against Uganda in November should have been enough for a spot in this inconsequential Africa Cup of Nations qualifier and the friendly against Egypt.

    His absence has been linked to his involvement with the U-23 side that face Libya, but, with the Afcon fast approaching, it'd have been more fitting to see Gernot Rohr, rather than Imama Amapakabo, work him through his paces.

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    #2 John Obi Mikel

    He’s been out of the national team fold since their group-stage exit at last summer's World Cup, but his recent omission was more surprising than the other times he had been left out - or opted to be left alone.

    His move to, and performances for, Middlesbrough have seen the 31-year-old’s stock rise tremendously, with coaches, teammates and fans - who affectionately tagged him the ‘African Zidane’ - singing his praise.

    After the summer outing in Russia, it looked like his time with the team was up, but now, the lure of having him at the finals in Egypt is becoming irresistible, which begs the question: 'Why was he overlooked?’

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    #3 Isaac Success

    Asides from Odion Ighalo, Victor Osimhen and Paul Onuachu are the other out-and-out strikers in the 23-man list for Seychelles game, although they are different kinds of players to the China-base dhitman.

    Admittedly, injuries have done damage to the former youth star's chances with the national team, but this season, he looks like a more refined footballer. 

    He was invited for the last international games but could do little with the minutes given to him in draws against South Africa and Uganda.

    A dead-rubber clash and friendly against Seychelles and Egypt respectively should not only have the Watford man on the list, but he should also have been handed a prominent role.

    Instead, he misses out altogether.

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    #4 Stephen Odey

    The FC Zurich striker has been lighting up the top flight in Switzerland, bagging his 11th goal of the season over the weekend to make a second consecutive appearance in the Swiss Super League Team of the Week.

    With six goals in the Afcon qualifying round, Ighalo has stamped his authority as the Super Eagles' first-choice attacker, but his penchant for missing out on the most important moments should push Rohr's hand to prepare a replacement, and Odey seems to fit the bill.

    From his outstanding season with MFM FC in the Nigeria Professional Football League in the 2016/17 season to finally demonstrating his quality in Switzerland this season, the striker has maintained his ruthlessness in front of goal.

    A successful trial in Nigeria's games in March would have given Nigeria more striking options ahead of the Afcon.

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    #5 Olufemi Kayode

    Prior to the emergence of Francis Uzoho, the goalkeeping department had always been a grey area in Gernot Rohr's Nigeria set-up.

    Barring any injury, Uzoho remains Nigeria's first-choice goalie at the Afcon 2019 in Egypt, but there are still questions surrounding the abilities of his deputies Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi to fill the void when he's unavailable, as was the case recently against South Africa and Uganda.

    Performance-wise, Ezenwa, in particular, has been overshadowed by some of his contemporaries in the Nigeria Professional Football League, but somehow, remains Rohr's trusted lieutenant.

    Olufemi Kayode's brilliance in Enugu Rangers' run in the Caf Confederation Cup should have had him rewarded with a spot in the team, but Rohr still prefers his Katsina United counterpart.