Responsive Ad Slot



Five players excluded from Nigeria's Olympic Squad that could have made a difference


/ by Obiweluozo Martins
The Olympic squad which consist of 18 players was announced by Coach Samson Siasia ahead of the preparation for Olympic Games in Rio, De Janeiro Brazil in the summer but certain names who cut the eye was omitted for many reasons best known to the National team selectors. 

With the uncertainty then of talented duo of Kelechi Iheanacho and Arsenal’s kid Alex Iwobi there are some wrong that the Dream Team VI may parade a depleted side to the tournament which Nigerians who love to end with a Gold medal for our team. 

There are certain players who failed to make the list for some certain reason and their absence are not totally pleasing as they service were been missed during the competition.
 We take a look at these five players who was excluded from the Rio Olympic squad.


  One player who was not in the list is Isaac Ajayi Success. The power playing forward whose U-17 world cup in 2013 in UAE, was cut short following injury when he was trying to prove a point against Sweden was really missed in Rio, Olympic Games in Brazil. 

The forward had a breakthrough season in Granada, Spain and has gone on to sign for English side Watford thus teaming up with Nigerian International Odion Ighalo at the Vicarage Road. The forward had been heavily looked to top sides like Inter Milan, Champions league finalist Athletico Madrid and Valencia which is a testament to the progress the young lad had made over the season.

 His directness pace and goal scoring threat was missing in Rio as Nigeria made do without his services in the summer Olympic Games.


  The Nigerian Winger nick named “the Nigerian Iniesta” was part of a three man attack alongside Awoniyi and Iheanacho who terrorized the world at the U-17 level leading a strong march to the title three years ago. 

Yahaya ability on the ball cannot be questioned as he demonstrated class and dexterity against Brazil at the U-20 World Cup in the opening match where he scored a brilliant goal and made a silky assist for his team mates. It was a match the young lad used to remind us what he can do as he mesmerized the Brazilian defence with his attacking flair.

 Yahaya is a top talent along with Iheanacho and it would have been nice to have the utility forward in the squad to replicate such performance along his U-17 teammate Iheanacho. Yahaya trickery on the wings and vision was really missed as he found no place in the squad for the Olympic Games in Brazil.


          The ever present and reliable midfield player who showed more hard work and creativity for the Nigeria U-17 was missing from the Olympics. Despite a high profile move to Manchester City along with Iheanacho the National Team selectors excluded such a talent from a whole 18 man list. 

A player of Nwakali’s quality is purely on Olympic candidate and his exclusion lives little to be desired. Nwakali was loaned to Norwegian side earlier in the year and he finished the campaign on a high, recording 90 minutes in games with a goal to his name.

 The midfielder demonstrated courage and goal scoring abilities as he registered his name on the score sheet twice at the U-17 level and should have made the squad based on his solid performance at his Norwegian club side Ik start.


          Kingsley Sokari is one upcoming midfielder who deserve to be in the Dream Team VI squad at soon to be concluded Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil. Following his reputation in the (NPFL) Nigerian Football League with Enyimba International where he is one of the best attacking midfield talent, there was no doubt about what the young midfield player had to offer to the Olympic side going forward. Sokari goals scoring ability makes him a potent attacking player in the Nigerian system.

 The player ability to finish up brilliant move is one of the attributes that defines his special talent.

 The midfield player scored a long range strike at the U-20 World Cup against North Korea last year and following up with a chipping finish to cap up a free flowing more against Senegal in the All African Games to underlies his credentials reminding us what might have been if he was selected for Rio, Olympics Games in Brazil as they Dream Team VI were lacking in depth in the midfield position following Azubuike Okechukwu absence against Germany in the Semi-Final match.


          The young central defender (19) had a breakthrough season for Portuguese giants FC Porto and scored a goal from a header following a corner kick in the 2-0 defeat of another Portuguese side Olhanense FC. 
The defender have shown that he have all it takes to compete at the highest level just like in the Olympic Games. Awaziem failed to make his International debut alongside Kenneth Omeruo and Troost-Ekong in defence due to visa hitches in May this year, but have be afforded another chance in the Super Eagles once again following recent Call-up by new Coach Rohr who listed him in the 23-man Squad to face Tanzania early next month. Awaziem should have been a good replacement for Segun Oduduwa who was ruled out of the Olympic Games following long term injury. 

With stability lacking in Samson Siasia Olympic defence lines, one player who could added value to it was the reliable center back Awaziem Chidozie who his exclusion from the Olympic squad was not good for the Dream Team who were earlier pursuing Gold in Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Samba Nation, Brazil.

Don't Miss
SoccerNet NG © 2018, all rights reserved.