Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi, Arsenal starlet Alex Iwobi and Kano Pillars veteran Rabiu Aliu have all been nominated for the March Complete Sports Player of the Month honours following consistently impressive performances.
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The nominees are presented below…
Profiles written by James Agberebi:
ALEX IWOBI (ARSENAL)
Currently the rave of the moment for both club and country, Alex Iwobi has continued to impress since breaking into the limelight.
Two goals in back-to-back starts for the Gunners are testament to the fact that Iwobi is really in superb form and will be instrumental for Arsenal in their remaining games this season.
Iwobi featured for Arsenal in their 4-0 FA Cup replay win against Hull City which took place on Tuesday March 8.
The youngster capped a wonderful performance with an assist for Theo Walcott who netted Arsenal’s fourth goal.
After impressing in previous games, Iwobi finally made his UEFA Champions League debut against Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Wednesday March 16. He was to later make way for Olivier Giroud on 72 minutes after a brilliant showing.
Against Everton in his first ever league start which was on March 19, Iwobi scored his first ever goal for Arsenal in a 2-0 win at Goodison Park.
And on Friday March 25 in the 2017 AFCON qualifier, Iwobi’s impressive displays for Arsenal finally earned him his official game for the Super Eagles against Egypt
He was introduced in the second half and created an assist for Victor Moses whose effort was cleared off the line.
Also in the reverse fixture on Tuesday March 29, Iwobi went in as a second half substitute in the game which the Eagles lost.
MIKEL OBI (CHELSEA)
Voted Complete Sports Player for the Month of February, Mikel Obi has continued to command a regular place in Chelsea since Guus Hiddink took over.
Unlike when Jose Mourinho was at the helm of affairs, Mikel is now a sure starter for the outgoing English Premier League champions and has contributed in no small way to Chelsea’s recent good run of form.
And just of recent, he was made the new Super Eagles skipper, taking over from Ahmed Musa.
Mikel was in action for Chelsea in a league clash away to Norwich City on Tuesday March 1st. He was introduced for Oscar as Chelsea went ahead to win the game 2-1.
Four days later, in another league clash, Mikel played for 90 minutes as Stoke forced Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
In the return leg of the second round clash of the Champions League against PSG which Chelsea lost 2-1, Mikel featured for 90 minutes.
Mikel was once again in action three days later in an FA Cup clash against Everton which Chelsea lost 2-0.
On Saturday March 19, Mikel was on duty for Chelsea in the league as they hosted West Ham United at Stamford Bridge. The game ended 2-2.
And in the 2017 AFCON qualifier against Egypt on Friday March 25, Mikel skippered the Eagles in the game which ended 1-1 in Kaduna.
He also led the team out in the return leg in Alexandria four days later which the Eagles lost 1-0.
Overall, Mikel played in all of Chelsea’s five matches in March and Nigeria’s two AFCON qualifiers.
RABIU ALI (KANO PILLARS)
Rabiu Ali has always been a top performer for former Nigeria Premier Football League champions Kano Pillars.
Ali could be described as one of the back bones of Pillars since they emerged as a force in the local scene.
And in the current season, the midfielder has continued to contribute his own quota as they aim to reclaim the title from Enyimba.
Ali made an appearance for Kano Pillars in a league tie on Wednesday 2nd March, away to Abia Warriors which ended 0-0.
On Sunday 6th March, Ali netted a hat-trick in Kano Pillars 3-2 home win against Akwa United.
Seven days later, he was in action for Pillars in their 2-2 draw away to Lobi Stars.
In a league clash which was on Wednesday 23 March, Ali scored Pillars only goal as they held MFM to a 1-1 draw.
And on Sunday 27 March, Ali featured for Pillars who defeated FC IfeanyiUbah 2-0.
Four goals in one month is no mean feat for a midfielder and Ali remains Pillars’ main man.