Claudio Ranieri – Awaziem Should Be First Choice For Nigeria, He Is A Threat From Set Piece

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Former coach of Nantes Claudio Ranieri has expressed his surprise at the fact that his FC Porto defender Chidozie Awaziem isn’t starting games for Nigeria at the World Cup.

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Awaziem has slipped to third in the pecking order of the senior national team of Nigeria after failing to properly gel with William Troost-Ekong the both times they have been paired in central defence for Nigeria.

Presently coach of the Nigerian team Gernot Rohr rates Chelsea defender Kenneth Omeruo ahead of the 20 year old with Ekong and Leon Balogun still the preferred option of the coach in central defence.

Speaking after Nigeria’s 0-2 loss to Croatia in their opening game, Ranieri faulted the none inclusion of Awaziem, the player he had on loan from FC Porto last season at Nantes‎ for the entirety of the season.

” Awaziem is very good at defending set piece. He is also good at finishing them off at the other end. I’m surprise he isn’t starting for Nigeria after the stellar season he had in France last season. Maybe they will need him in their subsequent games as he is a threat from set piece “, Ranieri said.

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Michael James