Super Eagles Midfield: Nigeria’s Weakest Position

Super Eagles Midfield: Nigeria’s Weakest Position
Wilfred Ndidi's form has deteriorated over the past few years

Being one of the top countries in African football, the Super Eagles squad is blessed with great talents in all areas of the pitch.  

The squad is the envy of a lot of countries on the continent and the nation continues to produce great talents capable of driving the national team forward. 

That being said, where there are strengths and great qualities, there are also weaknesses and shortcomings in a team. The squad may be great but it is still one that can be improved upon in order for the country to move to the next level. 

In a previous article, we looked at the strongest position on the Nigeria National Football Team squad and now we will be looking at the weakest position or the position which could be improved on. 

The Midfield 

For a long time, the engine room of the team has been one of the weakest points of the squad and it is even more apparent in recent times. 

In the last Africa Cup of Nations which occurred last year, Nigeria were able to cruise through the group stages but they had a flaw which was in midfield. 

Although they had the required steel that was provided by Wilfred Ndidi on the defensive end, they were not great at carving out defenses from central areas. Instead they relied on players like Samuel Chukwueze and the electric Moses Simon from wider areas to provide creativity. 

It was not a bad idea but becoming a contender for bigger honors on the continent requires a stronger midfield especially in possession. 

Alex Iwobi’s transition into a midfield position for club and country has been of big help and has given Nigeria a more creative body in the middle of the park but the numbers in that position are still pretty thin. 

One of the biggest complaints by the Super Eagles supporters is the lack of numbers in that position and it shows when the squad for international matches are announced. 

 

The last announcement only had four midfielders relieve a call up. This means that there is little competition for places in that position in the squad when compared to the defensive and forward portions.  

This could also show the lack of trust that Jose Peseiro has in the Nigerian midfielders that are yet to be called up to the national team. Alternatively, it could be because the quality of midfield talents are not up to par at the moment. 

With Wilfred Ndidi’s loss of form over the last year, the team is more exposed and susceptible to counterattacks by the opposition. This was particularly evident in the shock home loss to Guinea-Bissau in March. 

The Super Eagles will hope that sooner rather than later, some great talents in those positions begin to emerge and they are able to call them up. 

For the moment, some of the midfield talents around have not decided to play for the nation. Players like Carney Chukwuemeka of Chelsea FC, Eberechi Eze of Crystal Palace and Curtis Jones of Liverpool are players that could play for Nigeria if they make the switch. 

These players are talented enough to raise the technical floor of the team and are young enough to create a spine for the next decade. Nigeria will do well to convince them to come around. 

This article was most recently revised and updated 9 months ago

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