The race is on for the next arrow head of the Super Eagles’ attack, as footballllive.ng reports that Victor Osimhen, Henry Onyekuru, Samuel Chukwueze and Isaac Success have commenced a battle for who will step into Odion Jude Ighalo’s boots against South Africa.
They were all in top form, as the Eagles’ build-up commenced Tuesday evening, after their morning session was called off due to the non-arrival of more than half the number of invitees.
By 3pm on Tuesday, 22 players were in camp, so the technical adviser, Gernot Rohr lined his lads out to the training pitch, with the only absentee being Bordeaux of France winger, Samuel Kalu.
At the start of training, Osimhen, Chukewueze and Onyekuru showed how determined they are not to allow Success get a stroll into the arrow head’s position for Saturday’s game.
Such it was that Osimhen was quick, daring and skillful, while his ability to pull through tight space also drew applause from the crowd.
While Osimhen appears to have added physicality to his game and used his body to good effect, his pal from the Chile 2015 Golden Eaglets FIFA U-17 World Cup-winning team, Chukwueze was also on fire.
The Villarreal whiz-kid went past his markers with ease and displayed a near perfect shooting ability, with snappy decision and quick thinking on the ball, as he replicated the form that has shot him to prominence.
Similarly, Onyekuru displayed smart dribbles and clever link up play, as he looked very lively for the entire duration of the session.
However, Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi, Brighton’s Leon Balogun and Udinese’s William Troost-Ekong trained alone, in what Rohr said was just caution to allow them make full recovery from long flights home to Nigeria.
Troost-Ekong, Balogun and Iwobi went for light sprints before sitting out to watch the other players sweat it out in a selection-building session.
After the first 20 minutes of training, the players were split into two groups, with Theophilus Afelokhai, Jamilu Collins, Olamilekan Adeleye, Brian Idowu, John Ugochukwu Ogu, Ogenekaro Etebo, Ahmed Musa, Success and Osimhen pooled in a squad without bibs.
The other squad had Daniel Akpeyi, Ola Aina, Kenneth Omeruo, Semi Ajayi, Mikel Ndubuisi Agu, Moses Simon, Chukwueze, Onyekuru and Kelechi Iheanacho.
The players kept switching teams as training progressed, but Ikechukwu Ezenwa was not involved, as the Enyimba of Aba goalkeeper underwent special drills with the shot-stoppers’ trainer, Alloy Agu – which could be a suggestion of a possible starting role on Saturday for the net-minder.
Levante winger, Simon, who did not make the squad for the ties against Libya, was full of speedy dribbling runs and tricky skills.
One of the players exclaimed in wonder after Simon took out two of his pals, before using step overs to displace a third, which drew applause from the onlooking spectators, who were allowed to watch the drills.