As part of our usual top ten list of individuals in the NPFL, today we shift to focus on the defenders in the league. There is a real shortage of genuinely world-class defenders in the Super Eagles team at present and with the NPFL highlighting a number of talents, NPFL, they are a sought-after breed.
Today Cheapgoals.com break down 10 defensive anchors in NPFL, based on criteria of current shape, form and potential abilities.
10. Isiaka Oladuntoye – Enyimba.
The centre back attracted interest from Rivers united and Enyimba FC before settling for the Aba elephants. Though relatively unknown, Isiaka has played for Kwara united and Sunshine stars where he signed from. He is a defender to look out for.
9. Etim Mathew – Rangers
The flying antelope’s vice-captain made the team of the year last season as Rangers lifted the league after 32 years wait. However, he hasn’t had the best of times this season as Rangers sit bottom of the NPFL with 13 points from many games but the centre-back can’t be blamed for their misfortunes in the league and CAF champions league. He was called into the super eagles during the reign of Sunday Oliseh.
8. Chinedu Efugh – Abia warriors
Chinedu was signed from Heartland of Owerri when they went on relegation last season. The defender has NPSL experience as we were also the side’s skipper before the drop. He has been a mainstay in the Abia warriors team so far. He was instrumental as Abia warriors got an away win in Enugu over Rangers in the opening game of the season.
7. Jonathan Zikiye – Wikki tourist
Also an experienced defender in the league having played for the now defunct Dolphins of Port Harcourt as well as Kano pillars, Zikiye plays the left back position and now turns out for Wikki tourist of Bauchi.
6. Solomon Kwambe – Lobi Stars
A former Eagles defender during the days of the Late Stephen Keshi, Kwambe is a right back and was once tipped to stake a claim for the right-back position in the SE.
Unfortunately, he hasn’t been inconsistent and it will take a good run of form and consistent world class performance before he could smell a return to the national team.
5. Elisha Golbe – Plateau United
What else do you need from a defender who can score goals?! Elisha has four goals in the NPFL this season for Plateau united the most by any defender in the league and any other United player, as they fight for the top spot and a continental spot next season.
The plateau united captain is a dead ball specialist, explains why he is among the goals.
4. Stanley Okorom – MFM
Stanley plays the Right back position and was a former Golden Eaglets player at the time of Monday Odigie as head coach in 2011 and was discovered during the SHELL/NNPC All Secondary Schools Football Competition playing for Government Secondary School, Owerri, Imo State in 2009 and 2010.
He was was on the brink of a spot on the 21-man list to take part in the Olympics qualifying tournament in Senegal in 2015, only to miss out. He is also a defender who knows how to score goals and was the scorer for MFM in a 1-1 draw away to Wikki in Bauchi some weeks ago.
3. Jamiu Alimi – Kano
The 24 years old former Olympiacos Nicosia of Greece player now plays for Kano pillars, Jamiu has one of the best tackle rates of the 2017 NPFL season and him along veteran Chinedu Udoji an ex-Enyimba defender, has brought balance to the Sai masu Gidan back line.
He is in the B team of the super eagles as well as a former under 20 player.
2. Ernest Governor – ABS
Ernest is a towering defender for the Ilorin based side who are newly promoted and within his short time he has spent, he has been compared to Sergio Ramos by loyal ABS fans due to his goalscoring exploits as a defender, while some see him as a future super eagles player. He formerly turned out for Kogi united and was nominated for the February edition of the league bloggers award.
1. Chinedu Udoji – Kano pillars
A veteran of the Nigerian professional football league, Chinedu Udoji was the former captain of Enyimba FC of Aba where he won the league on several occasions.
The 27-year old has an imposing figure and currently plays for Kano pillars after completing a transfer in the offseason.
Despite his records and performances in the past, many still wonder what he has to do before getting a call up into the super Eagles.