With less than 16 days to the FIFA World Cup in Russia, the Super Eagles were dealt a massive blow with the news that Moses Simon will miss the tournament after sustaining an injury in the team’s pre-World Cup camp in Uyo.
According to sources, Moses’ injury could injury could open the door for Crotone of Italy striker, Simeon Nwankwo who has been impressive in the Eagles’ training session in Uyo, with a debut on Monday against DR Congo in Port Harcourt.
Simon was an integral part of Nigeria’s unbeaten World Cup qualifying campaign, scoring in the return leg clash against Cameroon in Yaoundé, but with the likes of Victor Moses, Ahmed Musa, and Alex Iwobi, Rohr could opt for a striker to fill the void created by the Gent winger.
With Odion Ighalo and Kelechi Iheanacho, the only recognized strikers in the Eagles’ fold, adding a more physical centre forward would not be out of context as it will offer Rohr more options going forward.
At 6ft.6′, Simy is a departure from Ighalo whose stock in trade is making darting runs behind defenders. He uses his physicality to good effect and enjoys the feisty duels with defenders, especially with Nigeria facing Croatia with Djan Loveren who has struggled all season with Liverpool to defend setpieces. Simy could be a very good backup considering his aerial prowess.
The 26-year-old attacker scored seven goals (six in his last eight appearances) for Crotone this season. It has always been an uphill task breaking into Rohr’s ‘already settled’ World Cup squad, but Simy kept making big statements with his performances in training and with the injury to Simon Moses, the bulky striker could just make his way to Russia next month.