Should Chidozie Awaziem be the first choice center back for Super Eagles?

Regardless of how the duo of Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong have performed for the Super Eagles, Alanyaspor's Chidozie Awaziem is in top form, younger and brings a skill at dead ball situations that could prove invaluable.

Should Chidozie Awaziem be the first choice center back for Super Eagles?

Awaziem's international career is a textbook case of being born at the wrong time. He has been in the shadows of Kenneth Omeruo, Balogun and Troost-Ekong, with the trio undroppable as one of Nigeria's handful of good players.

The former FC Porto man is in the form of his life, and is an integral part of the Alanyaspor side that has started so strongly. At 24 he will still be more or less in his prime come the next World Cup, and his potency at dead ball situations is something that Nigeria have arguably lacked since the days of Uche Okechukwu.

With his performance against Central African Republic at Stade Jopama at the World Cup Qualifiers, there is a case for saying that Awaziem should be integrated into the team over this qualifying campaign, and take over as first choice center back for Rohr's side.

The ex Leganes and Caykur Rizespor sweeper was in devastating form in the day 4 World Cup Qualification fixture in Duoala.

Central defence is one of the areas of the Nigeria team that has real strength in depth. Semi Ajayi has also been in excellent form with his club this season, and could have a case to also play like Awaziem.

However missing out Awaziem would be a mistake, and would also be grossly unfair on a man who has waited so long for his chance. If the Alanyaspor man doesn't perform well in the qualifying campaign against Liberia then maybe Ajayi can be given a shot, but Awaziem has to be the next in line.

He fits well with the Rohr's set-up of hard-working, unostentatious players, and has the defensive and attacking attributes to play as a expansive fullback or one who stays at home.

You'd expect that the selections for the upcoming games against Liberia and Cape Verde won't be the final word on the national team career of Balogun and Troost-Ekong.

But away from all the drama, Awaziem is an excellent player who should maybe be first choice on merit even without and should be given a run in the side.

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Ademetan Abayomi has always dreamt of being a sports journalist. His journey began 11 years ago when he created my first sports news page on Facebook, called "Futball Galore" and from there on his passion for sports journalism grew stronger. Now, he is a Sports News Reporter and Feature Writer where he strives to add value and learn as much as he can.

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