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The list of submitted World Cup squads has been coming in thick and fast as teams had to send in their lists of 23 yesterday. Nigeria’s coach Stephen Keshi announced his squad which didn’t have too many surprises. Talent Radar is particularly pleased that all six youngsters that made the initial list survived the cut and are now part of the 23 travelling to Brazil.
Of the players that did miss out, the biggest names were Serie A stars, Victor Obinna and Joel Obi. 27-yr-old Obinna spent part of last season on loan at Chievo from Lokomotiv Moscow and despite his international experience failed to make the squad while Joel Obi who hasn’t lived up to expectations from his early career days also misses out. They join Sunday Mba, Ejike Uzoenyi, Nnamdi Oduamadi, Nosa Igiebor and Daniel Akpayi in the list of players cut from the 30-man squad.
Some solid Talent Radar names have made the list. Ahmed Musa who impressed us at the Confederations Cup will unsurprisingly make the flight to Brazil, alongwith Lazio’s midfielder, Ogenzi Onazi. The duo have 53 International caps between them and will play crucial roles in Keshi’s side. Joining them will be Kenneth Omeruo who is yet to make his debut for Chelsea and instead has been loaned out. Almeria’s Ramon Azeez has also survived the cut. Forwards, Uche Nwofor and Michael Babatunde complete the list of Talent Radar members in the squad.
Note that we were particularly disappointed that Standard Liege’s Imoh Ezekiel didn’t even make the list of 30, let alone the final 23, bright future he has. Here’s the final list of 23 players as part of Nigeria’s World Cup squad:
Goalkeepers | Vincent Enyeama (Lille), Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United), Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva)
Defenders | Elderson Echiejile (Monaco), Efe Ambrose (Celtic), Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor), Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves), Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough), Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod FC), Joseph Yobo (Norwich City), Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars)
Midfielders | John Mikel Obi (Chelsea), Ogenyi Onazi (Lazio), Gabriel Reuben (Beveren), Michael Uchebo (Cercle Brugge), Ramon Azeez (Almeria)
Forwards | Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow), Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United), Victor Moses (Chelsea), Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce), Peter Odemwingie, (Stoke City), Uche Nwofor (Heerenveen), Babatunde Michael (Volyn)