AFCON: 5 players who could sneak their way into Super Eagles' squad (Opinion)

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In less than one month, the African Cup of Nations will begin, which means it is time for Africa's international managers to get their respective teams ready for the competition.

Nigeria is well aware of the opponents they will face in the Group stage, having been assigned to Guinea Bissau, Sudan, and Egypt.

Barring injury, there are already a number of players who can more-or-less ensure their position in the team - such as Wilfred Ndidi and William Troost-Ekong - but we believe there are still a handful of slots available, even for players who have not yet earned a cap for Nigeria.

Here are five candidates who might make the cut and sneak their way into the show.

5. Adeleye Adebayo

On the goalkeeping front, Nigeria appear to be well-prepared, with Maduka Okoye and Theresa Obi firmly established as the Super Eagles' pair, with Kaizer Chiefs' Daniel Akpeyi ready to step in when needed.

Finally, the battle for the final goalkeeping slot is a toss-up between Francis Uzoho and John Noble.

Adeleye Adebayo of Hapoel Jerusalem, who has produced a streak of tremendously excellent performances between the sticks this season, may possibly have his own eyes on the spot.

4. Brian Idowu

One year ago, the idea of Idowu being considered for any position on Nigeria's national team was generally ridiculed.

The defender hasn't been called up to the national team in quite some time, and he was so far down the pecking order at Lokomotiv Moscow that he was deemed surplus to needs and permitted to join Khimki Moscow.

However, since joining Khimki, the 29-year-old has seen a remarkable resurgence, becoming as one of the most versatile players in the Russian Premier League.

3. David Okereke

It's hard to imagine that David Okereke is still waiting for his first Nigerian cap, given how steady he has been for Venezia this season.

Okereke was a bit of a mystery at Club Brugge before being loaned out to Venezia on a permanent basis.

In the meantime, he has demonstrated this season that he is more than capable of competing with the finest players in the world in the Series A, having scored four goals and added one assist in the top division so far.

2. Akinkunmi Amoo

Amoo has been one of Hammarby's numerous standout performers this season, and he will be missed. He has developed into a highly sought-after player in the Scandinavian region.

Of course, Rohr already has a plethora of wide-area alternatives in Ahmed Musa, Samuel Chukwueze, Moses Simon, and Samuel Kalu, but Amoo might provide his team with a dependable backup option in the wide areas.

1. Dickson Abiama - Greuther Fürth

With Taiwo Awoniyi, Odion Ighalo and Kelechi Iheanacho likely to be supplemented by Emmanuel Dennis, Nigeria's options in the final third appear to be as good as they've ever been at this stage of their careers.

However, if Abiama can bring consistency to the table, he may be able to enter his name into the equation.

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