Samson Siasia, former Super Eagles coach, has decried the exclusion of Al Ahly striker Junior Ajayi from Nigeria’s provisional World Cup squad.
Siasia believes Ajayi should have made the cut because of his performance for his club this season.
He told TheCable that Ajayi’s inclusion “could have been the right thing to do”.
He said: “Junior has proven himself with the Olympic team and he is doing well in his club in Egypt. I think he should be given at least a chance to be part of that 30 man list.”
Siasia said Ajayi should not be judged based on his cameo for the Super Eagles in the friendly game against Serbia in London.
He said: “Ajayi came in for just about one minute. He trained with them, that’s not the same. Training and playing is not the same thing.
“If you look at Victor Moses in training, you won’t play him. I am telling you the truth. I am not saying that’s the same thing Ajayi did but they have to give him a chance.”
Siasia also said Efe Ambrose, a defender who plays for Hibernian, should have been given a chance to prove himself, “given the problem we have at the back”.
“He’s been campaigning and he has some experience too,” he said.
“I don’t know why they didn’t put him there. It’s not about sentiment. But for us to do very well, we need the right players.”
He also gave his take on the goalkeepers invited, saying Enyimba’s Ikechukwu Ezenwa should be the first choice.
“Ezenwa did his best during the qualifiers and he kept for us to qualify. He should be the number one because he has parlayed more games than anyone else. But the coach has to do whatever he thinks it’s the best,” said the ex-Flying Eagles coach.
Other goalies invited by coach Gernot Rohr are Francis Uzoho, Dele Ajiboye, and Daniel Akpeyi.
On the inclusion of in-form Kano Pillars striker Junior Lokosa, Siasia said: “We’ve seen Ajayi play. This Lokosa boy I don’t know him. He still has time to prove himself.”