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AFCON 2023: Nigerian players who must sit up after two group stage games

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Wale Mustapha
Nigeria’s senior national team have so far played two matches at the ongoing 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, taking place in Abidjan, with a draw against Equatorial Guinea and win over hosts Ivory Coast.
Jose Peseiro’s men opened their campaign with a 1-1 draw against the Nzalang National before they bounced back with a 1-0 win against Cote d’Ivoire, raking up four points to put themselves on the brink of knockout stages.
Majority of the players have lived up to pre tournament performances except few who are still in their shells after two games. In this piece, Nigeriafootball.ng runs the rule on some members of Super Eagles that required to up their game heading to next games.

Samuel Chukwueze 

The AC Milan winger had not been convincing in his two games.  He was to be the game changer when he came on against Equatorial Guinea but worsen the matter with his wayward runs and selfish moves.
He was also handed another chance to atone for his previous gaffes with a starting berth against the Ivorians, unfortunately he was not convincing.

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Jose Peseiro will need to have a word with him and let him know its all about the team and not individual glory hence the need for him to sit up or get himself glued to the bench.

Moses Simon

Simon has also not been convincing after featuring in the two games.
For a winger who is expected to provide crosses for the centre man, Simon has not really made any successful deliveries into box for the striker of any attacker to convert.

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He comes in to add more numbers to the midfield and even provided support while the team was defending but he’s also expected to deliver in his primary role on the wing.

Zaidu Sanusi 

The FC Porto left back is having an inconsistent performances at the tournament.
He needs to bring his A-game to life as he used to at his club side. Zaidu was impressive in the opening stages of first match against Equatorial Guinea but fizzled out at a latter part of it.
One of his let-offs almost result to a goal for the Ivorians in the first half and also lost more aerial duels in the second half.
Alex Iwobi
It is as if Iwobi was not mentally ready for the tournament as he’s not been able to bring his usual spark into two opening games for the Super Eagles.
The former Arsenal man played two matches, started both and has not been convincing with his attacking involvements.

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He was only limited to a more deeper role against Ivory Coast, with could not make provide more support for the attack.  He will require to give more of his attacking qualities if he will need to command the respect he deserves.

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