Why Super Eagles players are battling relegation

On Thursday night, Victor Osimhen became a Napoli legend.

The 23-year-old netted the equalizer in the 52nd minute as they drew 1-1 with Udinese.

This result confirmed Spalletti’s men as the new Serie A champions.

Osimhen’s 22 goals in the league has powered Napoli to the Scudetto for the first time in 33 years.

The story is not the same for some of his Super Eagles team-mates, especially the ones in England.

Almost half of Jose Peseiro’s starting XI are enmeshed in a relegation dogfight.

Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City), Alex Iwobi (Everton), Joe Aribo and Paul Onuachu (Southampton), Taiwo Awoniyi and Emmanuel Dennis (Nottingham Forest) are not sure their clubs will still be in the topflight by the end of May.

It is a far cry from the days when John Obi Mikel and Kanu Nwankwo played influential roles for Chelsea and Arsenal respectively, as they won the Premier League in years past.

“This is actually pretty unprecedented,” Solace Chukwu, the Head of Pulse Sports tells DAILY POST.

“I would say this season is unique in this respect. Typically, while Nigerian players have not often troubled the top of the table, they have tended to at least be secure in their leagues: lower mid table at worst. So this is sort of new,” he said.

So, what could be the root cause of this? Wrong choice of clubs?

“I don’t think there is one blanket explanation, to be honest.

“Wrong choice of club explains some (e.g Paul Onuachu to Southampton), but I think in some other cases, it’s simply a function of the unpredictability at the foot of the table.

“Neither Wilfred Ndidi or Kelechi Iheanacho, for instance, could realistically have seen Leicester struggling as they have.

“However, if there is one common thread for the sides struggling, it is a sense of stagnation, of not pushing ahead and taking the next step when the situation demands it.

“In such a competitive league, to borrow a cliché, to stand still is to go backwards,” Chukwu explained.

Indeed, this Premier League season has been incredibly competitive.

From the title race, to the fight for top four places and the huge battle to beat the drop.

“I think, overall, the level of the Premier League is higher than it has been for a while, specifically in terms of quality (of players) across the board.

“Even the weaker clubs can call on high-level talent.

“There are few genuinely bad teams, and that is clear from the fact that, at this late stage, no team has been cut adrift just yet. That has lent itself to a very competitive title race,” Chukwu added.

(Dailypost)

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