Stick with Elderson Echiejile: One of the few veterans of the 2013 Nations Cup still standing, some Nigeria fans aren’t convinced that left-back Elderson is the best option for the Super Eagles—even though he appears to have Rohr’s faith. He can be caught out by speedy forwards, his defensive instincts can leave a lot to be desired, and apart from one fine display against Yeni Matalyaspor, he’s struggled at Sivasspor so far this term, conceding 12 in his last five games. Echiejile is in pole position to start in Russia, but do Nigeria have other options?

Ola Aina: Perhaps the most likely option to replace Elderson is Aina, who finally made his international debut against Zambia after switching nationality. The former England youth international offers versatility across the backline, and has excelled on the right for Hull City this term. He offers more than Echiejile going forward and has the quality to adapt seamlessly to international level. Expect him to be given the opportunity to impress between now and Russia.

Back three: One option the Eagles could have to cover the potential weakness at left-back and play to some of the strengths of other members of the squad is to switch to a back three. This would allow Rohr to introduce another centre-back or to push Abdullahi Shehu inside, giving Leon Balogun more license to create from deep. Similarly, Victor Moses could then replicate his role for Chelsea on the right, while both Iwobi and Moses Simon—or either with Aina in support—could be used on the left.

Kingsley Madu: Once upon a time, Madu appeared set to establish himself as Elderson’s long-term successor at left-back, but he’s been overlooked since 2016 as Rohr has turned back to the more experienced option. Reportedly a former target of Tottenham Hotspur, Madu has struggled with injury since joining Zulte-Waregem. However, still only 21, the two-time Slovakian champion has time on his side as he looks to establish himself with the Super Eagles. Does he merit consideration between now and Russia?

Tyronne Ebuehi: Having just featured once to date for the Super Eagles, it’s hard to truly evaluate just how equipped the ADO Den Haag man is for the international arena. However, his versatility—he can play on the right and the left—surely demands that he deserves Rohr’s consideration. At 21, he’s another bright option for Nigeria’s future, and expect him to be given a run out between now and Russia. Could the Dutch-based youngster do enough to convince Rohr that he can be a contender for Echiejile or Shehu’s starting spots?

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