7 Debutants Who Can Be Key To Super Eagles’ Success At AFCON 2021

7 Debutants Who Can Be Key To Super Eagles’ Success At AFCON  2021

Super Eagles are looking to compete like a potential champions when the AFCON 2021 – the 33rd Africa Cup of Nations gets underway in Cameroon from Sunday, January 9 2022. The Nigerian squad led by a stopgap coach, Austine Eguavoen, boasts a mix of AFCON veterans and young debutants in the Africa’s topmost football showpiece..

In this piece Completesports.com‘s AUGUSTINE AKHILOMEN highlights seven Super Eagles’ AFCON debutants who can lit up the tournament with their skills and help the three-time champions’ to their fourth title.


Chidera EJUKE

No doubt, one of the revelations or discoveries of 2021, Chidera Ejuke’s mesmerizing skills, vision, and ability to take on opponents will catch the AFCON 2021 watchers’ eyes.

Ejuke who was ranked as the third-best dribbler in the world, according to CIES Football Observatory in November, 2021, didn’t come as a surprise as he is known for his quick feet, a quality that enables him to move past opponents’ defences like a hot knife through butter.

AFCON 2022 Zabira


Although Ejuke is yet to score or register a goal assist as Super Eagles player, the former Heerenveen man has been brilliant for CSKA, contributing four goals and three assists in 13 matches as an attacking midfielder.


The AFCON 2021 may just be the perfect platform for Ejuke to officially announce his name to the world and also claim the number 10 shirt in the Super Eagles.


Despite enjoying a good season so far, Awoniyi is still not in the forefront of candidates for the No.9 position in the Super Eagles. But there is now an opportunity for him to lead the line against Egypt, at least, in the enforced absence of the injured Victor Osimhen and club-tied Odion Ighalo.

Awoniyi is tall, fast and powerful – the characteristics that make him a great player, with the ability to run the channels if required. He is Nigeria’s top scorer in the top five European leagues, having scored 14 goals in 27 appearances, in all competitions, for Union Berlin this season.


Awoniyi may not knock Osimhen directly off the No.9 role, but he can become the second-best choice if the goals flow in Cameroon.


Touted as the new Jay-Jay Okocha after his sublime performance in the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where he captained the Golden Eaglets to lift the trophy. However, his club career has not helped bring that prediction to fruition.

His sterling performance for Nigeria against Atletico Madrid in a friendly match made the mouth salivate, and many will be praying that the full potential of Nwakali shows up in Cameroon.

Now 23, and playing regularly in Spain’s second tier side, SD Huesca, but yet to make a full debut for the national side, he now has an ample opportunity to use the AFCON 2021 to re-spark his career.

Sadiq UMAR

After a brilliant performance with the Nigeria’s under-23 team at the 2016 Olympic Games, where he scored four goals to help the team claim Bronze medal, Sadiq Umar has maintained his goal scoring form in Europe.

Umar, who has been banging in the goals for Almeria in the Spanish Segunda B, will be relishing the opportunity of shouldering the Super Eagles goal-scoring responsibility with the absence of the duo of Odion Ighalo and Victor Osimhen from the squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations inRI Cameroon.


The Rangers midfielder has become a regular player in the Super Eagles squad since making his debut for the team against Ukraine in an international friendly game in 2019.

Aribo is known for his speed and athleticism and he is one of the players football lovers are hoping can play up to his potential and help bring back the glory days of Nigerian football at AFCON 2021.

Tyronne EBUEHI

If it were just skillset and composure that is used to judge the candidates for the full-back positions in the Super Eagles, Ebuehi would be No.1.

2021 AFCON Qualifier: Ebuehi Defends Rohr's Decision To Bench Him

2021 AFCON Qualifier: Ebuehi Defends Rohr’s Decision To Bench Him

The Netherlands-born defender is a classy player who has been bedevilled with bad luck from injuries. The 26-year-old looks to have found a home with Venezia in Serie A, where this season, he has made 12 appearances.

A composed showing devoid of injury could give him the edge in Cameroon.


Another briliiant player who will be hoping to use the AFCON 2021 as an opportunity to cement his place in the Super Eagles squad. Olayinka, who has an eyes for goals will patiently wait for his chance in Cameroon.

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  • Super Eagles will flop so bad. Mentally they are no there.

    • Chidiomimi 2 weeks ago

      You aren’t a psychologist, hence, your assertion is very misleading.

    • Adebola 2 weeks ago

      I agreed with you,too many inexperience players, hopefully it won’t be a disgraceful outing. Playing Egypt in first match will be too difficult for this new team

  • Ejuke and Awoniyi should be in the first eleven and given more responsibility in this Afcon…….Two of them will give SE’s opponent some element of surprise…….The Two of them are highly unpredictable and their abilities are not well known in Africa just yet.

  • QuestZone 2 weeks ago

    Tyronne Ebuehi. Debutant ??

    • Yes. just recovering from injury the last time only had world cup experience.

  • TALK UR OWN 2 weeks ago


    • Adebola 2 weeks ago

      No, not in his life,but to the world cup.That is if we qualify.

  • Jide Dola 2 weeks ago

    This person thought Iheanacho has played AFCON before o

    • onwajunior 2 weeks ago

      Lol @Jide…Iheanacho na Seniorman na!!

    • Wow.. Looks like that’s true o. He hasn’t featured in any AFCON tourney before. This will be his first. I hope he writes a good AFCON story.

    • The team really hasn’t had time to blend well. Especially the attackers. They are a bunch of talented young men but do they have the understanding to play like a team. I hope they do.

  • MONKEY POST 2 weeks ago

    Too many inexperienced players my brother @Adebola..infact too many rookies…when we are singing the importance of experience to their ears, they will think we are looking for attention..

    even the goals from the friendly that they were throwing fireworks celebrating all over the place, came from experienced players like Musa and chukwueze(though with just one Afcon experience)

    • Where are the experience players?

      Beside Ighalo and Victor Moses.

      Ighalo is not released by his club.

      It’s only Victor Moses that I see as experience player that is doing well present and qualify to be in Super Eagles camp.

  • Imagine the following nine players in Eagles camp:

    1. Osimhen
    2. Ighalo
    3. Balogun
    4. Etebo
    5. Dennis
    6. Shehu
    7. Collins
    8. Onuachu
    9. Desser

    Nigeria team would have been a team to fear by all African countries.

    God bless Nigeria.

  • Yinkus 2 weeks ago

    This isn’t first time eagle will be parading many debutants, but yet still pull a stunt. Debutant at 2013 AFcon, Efe ambruse,ogenyi onanzi,sunday Mba,Juwon osaniwon,victor moses, kenneth omeruo and many more

    Having many debutants should not be a problem for us if the coach did his job well.

  • Proudly 9ja 2 weeks ago

    Guys, the team hasn’t kicked a ball yet and spme of u guys are already having a defeatist mindset, that is crazy. Any country thinking they will easily beat this team will have a rude awakening. How much experience did Sunday Mba, Emenike, Ideye, Oboboabona, Ighalo, Ndidi, Balogun, Ekong etc have b4 they all played their 1st AFCON? Zero. Didnt they all do well? Inexperience also brings with it the pissibility of the unexpected. Yes experience is good but how do people gain dat experience without being given the opportunity to gain dat experience.

    People are also saying the coach is celebrating the 2;0 victory against coton sports, as much as i was in favour of havibg GR stay as coach due to time constraint, i can’t beat my chest and wager a 100$ that SE under him will beat coton sport more than 2:0. His SE dont score lots of goals, 1 or 2 opkari. Other than a few selection issues (Dessers, Amoo and Akpoguma) Eguavon has done well so far. I personally was never in support of Ighalo as i tot and still do think that the younger players will offer more in the long term. All Eguavon needs now is to make up for the late preparation by holding trainings twice a day (once in the morning and evening) as work on set pieces. I believe in this crop of players assembled, all the ingredients are there. I personally tip 9ja to win the AFCON. people go say senegal, morocco, cameroon, egypt etc are favorites. What makes dem favorite, na the calibre of players they have that 9ja don’t have? Una go see as these so-called favorites go fall by the wayside. Abeg lets calm down, we are doing well in this tournament. Egypt with dia salah dey shit for pant with the prospect of facing 9ja with or without GR. Whoelse does egypt have other than salah that 9ja should be scared off. Same can be said of all the othet countries. Enjoy the AFCON my brothers with a relaxed mind, nothing do us abeg. Like AY always say VAMOS SE do what u do best WIN.All we do is win, win, win, no matter what. We are 9ja, mek una no 4get.

  • Collins id 1 week ago

    The only Player we are missing now is osihmen! And i am glad we habe umar to replace him! Umar is not much far from osimhen i think osihmen have better Speed, aggility and more ruggedity than him, umar has skills, composure, better head work and pisitioning, though we will surely miss osihmen, but umar is a blessing in disguarse as he will be underated by our opponent than osihmen who will be closely marked and studied by deffenders and coaches, it will be The case of Benzema and girou, as for balogun he is not a big miss as far as omeruo is There! Etebo will be missed but he wasnt a starter any more as aribo comes before him, onyeka and nwakali is also a plus. Dennis and dessers where never There before and they are not starters, ighalo is currently pregnant. For me this squad is equaly The best Nigeria can offer and we shouldnt start singing The excuses that are not reality. My only concern is eguavon not to underate The important of iwobi in our attacking midfield, becos as far as i am concern iwobi is The best player in that AM possition, the idea of playing ejuke, iheanacho or aribo in AM ahead of iwobi will be a disaster (Mark my words). I dont Care if iwobi is scoring goals for everton or not but kno body Connect the attack better than him since the end of mikel’s riggim. My favorite formation
    Aina ekong omeruo saidu


    Iwobi nwakali

    Chuks umar ejuke

    subs, aribo, msimon, Awaziem, onyekuru, onyeka, olayinka.

  • Where is onyeka frank