In the absence of Super Eagles team captain Mikel Obi in today’s crucial game against the Mediterranean Knights of Libya, former International, Etim Esin, has suggested that any of the players in the midfield position can fit in without necessarily being played out of position.
Eagles currently occupy third position in the AFCON Group E table with three points, behind Libya and South Africa who have four points each.
Two wins will guarantee Nigeria a place in next year’s AFCON in Cameroon having missed the two previous editions.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Esin said he believes that the any of the players in the midfield can be called upon to fill the vacuum left by the Eagles captain, adding that the former Chelsea player cannot be around forever.
“I believe we have other players that can step into Mikel’s shoes.
Mikel is not going to play for Nigeria forever and that is what transition is all about. You transit a player into another position to have a chance and see what he can do.
“Oghenekaro Etebo and Alex Iwobi are the players that can fit in into that role, but though they play different patterns.
But I think Etebo can fit in perfectly, he can make things happen for us, as he can hold the ball, initiate attack, and spray passes to the attackers.
“Iwobi on the other hand can be left upfront to support the attack. The Arsenal FC player can bring the assist and he can also score if he has the scoring chances.
But the emphasis here is that the players in the team should not be played out of position,” he said.
The former Super Eagles maestro, however, warned the team not to underrate the North Africans, who have proved that they are a hard nut to crack due to their recent form in Africa.
“We should not underestimate any team in the continent again because football has gone to a different level.
All we need now is the three points. The boys should know how desperately we need to qualify for the AFCON after nonattendance in the last two editions,” he stated.