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AFCON: Flying Eagles in race against time for top centre-forward, central defender

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Flying Eagles coach Ladan Bosso has less than two weeks to get a proven striker and a top central defender to stabilize his back four, team officials have admitted.

Ibrahim Mohammed ‘Ibeji’ from the wings carried the Junior Eagles at the U20 AFCON qualifiers in May in Niger Republic with three goals.

Centre-forward Ahmed Abdullahi weighed in with two goals in the qualifiers, but it is becoming increasingly likely he will not be released by Belgian club Gent for the U-20 AFCON.

Lithuania-based Adams Olubi flopped in Niger, while Brazilian club Sao Paulo will not release Azeez Balogun for the tournament in Egypt next month.

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Nasarawa United new boy Francis Ayuba has been the team’s main spearhead in attack, but after he failed to produce in three test games against NPFL clubs, questions are now being asked about whether he can deliver on the big stage when it matters most.

His direct rival Segun Otusanya, on the other hand, netted twice against Wikki Tourists and Lobi Stars after coming off the bench.

Norwich City U21 striker Kenny Coker played in the team’s 5-1 win over Global Peace FC of Jos.

He is big and direct, but it is still left to be seen whether he can also mix it up with uncompromising defenders in Egypt.

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In the heart of the back four, Bosso is looking for a worthy partner for Benjamin Fredricks, who has grown leaps and bounds since the qualifiers where he was placed on standby.

Turkey-based Michael Ologo, 19, who has already been capped at U23 level, has been penciled, but it is left be seen whether his relegation-troubled club will release him.

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