The Super Eagles of Nigeria will resume their 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers in November and the 2022 World Cup qualification matches in May next year.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Wednesday confirmed the new schedules for the qualifiers which were postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Nigeria was supposed to host Sierra Leone at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba on March 27 before confronting the Stars in Freetown in the return leg four days later.
But the spread of the deadly Covid-19 back then put a stop to all sporting activities across the world until football made a return in June, firstly in the Bundesliga.
With the 2021 AFCON qualifiers set to restart in November, Complete Sports’ OLUYEMI OGUNSEYIN looks at five players who need summer moves to help them be in good form to keep or reclaim their Super Eagles shirts.
Jamilu COLLINS (SC Paderborn, Germany)
Super Eagles left full-back, Jamilu Collins will have a justified reason to make a departure from SC Paderborn this summer after the German minnows were relegated to the second tier Bundesliga 2 from the Bundesliga.
In March, Hertha BSC, Schalke 04 and Mainz 05 were reportedly interested in Collins who played 30 Bundesliga games for Paderborn, scoring one goal and making two assists.
Collins is sought after in the transfer market. The defender who has a contract with Paderborn until 2021 is on the radar of English clubs such as Fulham, Norwich City and Newcastle United.
A move to England could fail as he needs to complete a quota of 75 percent of the compulsory national team games in two years to qualify for a work permit in the UK.
The 26-year-old has played 14 competitive games for Nigeria and is therefore just below the specified quota. This could obstruct his dream destination [England] where he hopes to play for Arsenal.
Taiwo AWONIYI (Liverpool, England)
Former Nigerian youth international, Taiwo Awoniyi spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Mainz 05 after sealing a temporary switch to the Bundesliga team from parent club, Liverpool in August 2019.
The striker who only started to get regular game time since the season resumed in June, however, struck the back of the net only once after making eleven appearances in the Bundesliga for Mainz.
Liverpool signed him in 2015. However, he could not play for The Reds and was sent out on loan. Awoniyi has since had spells at FSV Frankfurt, NEC Nijmegen, Royal Mouscron, KAA Gent and Mainz.
His loan stints at these clubs have not really helped his football development, and the forward will need a permanent move away from Liverpool this summer to get his groove back.
Isaac SUCCESS (Watford, England)
Ex-Nigeria youth internatíonal, Isaac Success had a disappointing time at Watford who were relegated after the 2019/20 Premíer League campaign – his worst season ever.
Success who missed Watford’s 3-2 defeat to Arsenal in their last EPL game of the season at the Emirates Stadium due to a long-term hamstring injury has been tipped to leave this summer.
He actually got some playing time during the winter period, and a pair of assists against Coventry City in the League Cup in August was as good as it ever got for the Nigeria international.
Success managed just 67 minutes in the Premier League across five substitute appearances for the relegated Hornets this term and continues to be a major disappointment in English football.
Kenneth OMERUO (CD Leganes, Spain)
Kenneth Omeruo is another Super Eagles player who should have a change of club in the summer transfer window and this is because CD Leganes failed to escape relegation from the Laliga Santander.
The African Cup of Nations winner, having achieved that feat with the Super Eagles back in South Africa in 2013 would certainly not love to play in the lower division of
But despite the fact that his club, Leganes suffered relegation from the La Liga Santander to the Segunda division, Omeruo churned out impressive performances all through the season.
And the former Chelsea defender who has been consistent ever since joining Leganes in 2018 will surely not be sure of suitors who would love to make use of his invaluable experience.
The 26-year-old in spite of injuries started 22 of his 23 Spanish top-flight games in the just concluded 2019/2010 season with a goal and five yellow cards to his name. He is on Levante’s transfer radar.
Chidozie AWAZIEM (FC Porto, Portugal)
Chidozie Awaziem had a very good outing during the 2019/20 Spanish LaLiga Santander season despite the fact that his club, Leganes suffered relegation to the Segunda division.
Awaziem who played on loan at CD Leganes from FC Porto was tipped to join the Laliga side on a permanent deal in the summer transfer window before relegation spoilt things.
The versatile Super Eagles defender played 26 LaLiga games for Leganes, but will be heading back to Portugal.
Awaziem needs to move so as to command a regular shirt in the Nigeria team. In a recent interview, he disclosed that he had dreams of playing for Spanish giants, Real Madrid while he models his game like that of Los Blancos skipper, Sergio