Dibie Ike Michael
Super-Eagles of Nigeria trios of Mikel John Obi, Ahmed Musa and kelechi Iheanacho have been penciled in the running for the African Player of the year Awards, alongside 27 other top stars including current holder, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Andre Ayew, Victor Wanyama, Riyad Mahrez, Samuel Eto’o, and Eric Bailly.
In the award for the players based in Africa, Enyimba and Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) record scorer Mfon Udoh as well as Chisom Chikatara, now with Wydad Athletic Club (WAC), are up against 23 other players featuring in different clubs on the continent.
Iheanacho, no doubt, has been named in the line-up for Confederation of African Football (CAF)’s biggest individual award following his impressive time at Manchester City since breaking into the first team of the English outfit. The 20-year-old has already scored four goals in four games for Nigeria this year.
Mikel led the Nigeria under-23s to a bronze medal finish at the Summer Olympic in Brazil while Musa was the kingpin in CSKA Moscow’s title win in Russia before he crossed to English champions Leicester City.
Enyimba star Udoh, on the other hand, currently leads the goalscorers’ chart in this year’s CAF Champions League. He has scored nine goals and unless Zamalek’s Bassem Morsy can score six more over two legs in the final against Mamelodi Sundowns, then the Nigerian forward will take that individual prize.
Chikatara got himself in the running for the award for players based in Africa on the back of his superb individual performance at the 2016 African Nations Championship (Chan) in Rwanda.
CAF is expected to trim the number of nominees before the end of the year. The Glo-CAFAwards takes place in Abuja on January 5, 2017.