Okoye, Adeleye and the Best Goalkeepers Peseiro Can Target As Nigeria Seeks Competition for Nwabali

Okoye, Adeleye and the Best Goalkeepers Peseiro Can Target As Nigeria Seeks Competition for Nwabali

Ero Samson
updated at February 29, 2024 at 6:07 PM
In this article:
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Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Stanley Nwabili logo
-GNigeria logo
Maduka Okoye logo
M. Okoye
Udinese logoGNigeria logo
Marco Silvestri logo
M. Silvestri
Udinese logoGItaly logo
A. Okonkwo
Arsenal U23 logoG-
Adebayo adeleye logo
Hapoel Jerusalem logoG-
Kayode Bankole logo
Kayode Bankole
Remo Stars logoG-
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Remo Stars
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Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem logo
Hapoel Jerusalem
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Francis uzoho logo
-GNigeria logo
  • The Super Eagles of Nigeria are aiming to build on the positives recorded at the AFCON
  • Head coach, Jose Peseiro, looks set to invite new goalkeepers to the Nigerian team set-up
  • Sports Brief looks at the new shot-stoppers who could provide competition for Stanley Nwabali

The Super Eagles of Nigeria are poised to capitalise on the positives achieved at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Heading into the tournament in Ivory Coast, the three-time champions faced significant scrutiny, particularly in the goalkeeping department.

These criticisms were not unfounded, as Jose Peseiro's team had been consistently conceding seemingly easy and lacklustre goals, prompting calls from fans for the replacement of goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho.

Nigeria, Peseiro, Nwabali, AFCON, CAF, Goalkeepers, Okoye, Adeleye
Stanley Nwabali gestures during the Africa Cup of Nations match between Nigeria and South Africa. Image: Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

However, amidst these backlashes, the Portuguese tactician made a bold decision, entrusting the goalkeeping duties to the untested Stanley Nwabali, who would eventually emerge as one of the standout performers of the tournament.

Nonetheless, with coach Peseiro aiming to restore the Super Eagles to becoming Africa's best footballing nation, reports of the addition of several players to the team have emerged.

In light of these developments, Sports Brief examines the goalkeeping options the Portuguese tactician could consider to provide competition for Nwabali.

Goalkeepers to provide Nwabali competition

Maduka Okoye

While the 24-year-old is not a newcomer to the Super Eagles setup, the Udinese star has been absent from the Nigerian team since his error-strewn performance at the 2021 AFCON.

Okoye, who was undeniably younger and less experienced at the time, has since matured significantly. His recent development has earned him the starting position for Gabriele Cioffi's side over veteran, Marco Silvestri.

Adebayo Adeleye

The Hapoel Jerusalem goalkeeper has been making headlines since bursting onto the scenes in 2021. The 23-year-old former Nigerian U20 international could pose a serious challenge to Nwabali, given his demonstrated composure under pressure.

In addition to his shot-stopping and aerial skills, his adeptness with his feet could be a crucial factor in earning him a recall to the Nigerian team.

Arthur Okonkwo

The 22-year-old is well in line to feature for the Super Eagles following reports from FIFA confirming his switch of international allegiance from FIFA.

The Arsenal goalkeeper, who progressed through an elite goalkeeping development program, could be a valuable addition to Nigeria's goalkeeping department. His development in one of Europe's top football setups adds to his potential as an elite talent for the national team.

Kayode Bankole

The 21-year-old Remo Stars goalkeeper also stands out as one of Nigeria’s brightest goalkeeping prospects from the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL).

Since bursting onto the scenes with Shooting Stars FC, the goalkeeper has proven his qualities, earning a debut with the B team of the Super Eagles in December of 2022.

Bankole could well recreate another Nwabali success story, especially considering the fact the highly praised Chippa United star is a product of the NPFL.

Peseiro explains reason for Nigeria's AFCON formation

In another report, Sports Brief stated that the coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Peseiro, explained the reason for the team's defensive approach at the AFCON.

Contrary to the highly anticipated 4-3-3 formation, the Nigerian team lined up in a surprise 5-4-1 formation. The 63-year-old coach emphasised the importance of defensive solidity as the rationale behind his decision.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).