A familiar face in Nigerian football circles, Emmanuel Amuneke carved his legacy as a dynamic winger during his playing days. The former Super Eagles star played a pivotal role in Nigeria’s triumph at the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations and famously scored two goals in the final to secure the title.

Transitioning seamlessly into coaching, Amuneke’s achievements speak volumes of his acumen on the sidelines. He guided Nigeria’s U17 team led by a teenage Victor Osimhen to FIFA U-17 World Cup glory in 2015, showcasing his adeptness at nurturing young talents and orchestrating success at the international level.

Amuneke has also served as an assistant coach for the Super Eagles in the past and his technical acumen, talent grooming and understanding of Nigerian football make him a compelling choice.

With a successful club and national career, the 53-year-old is sure to have the respect of the squad should he emerge as the next coach of the Eagles.

Renowned for his electrifying pace and precision on the wing, George Finidi left a lasting mark on Nigerian football during his playing days. A key figure in the iconic Ajax team of the 1990s, Finidi’s exploits in Europe earned him widespread acclaim, including a UEFA Champions League triumph in 1995.

Praised with a unique football brain even before transitioning into coaching, Finidi has honed his skills on the sidelines, gaining valuable experience across different coaching roles.

Most recently, he won the Nigerian Premier Football League with Enyimba in the 2022/23 season and his tactical astuteness and understanding of the game position him as a compelling candidate for the Super Eagles job.

One of those who has won it all as a player and achieving great success as a manager, Finidi also served as an assistant coach under Peseiro as the Eagles finished second at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations and he is a prime target on basis of continuity in the backroom.

A trailblazer in his own right, Ndubuisi Egbo etched his name in history as the first African coach to lead a European team to a domestic league title when he won the Albanian topflight trophy with FK Tirana. His remarkable feat with Tirana in Albania garnered global attention as he also booked them a spot in the UEFA Champions League, highlighting his managerial prowess and ability to achieve success against the odds.

Egbo played as a goalkeeper during his professional career, and also played for Tirana, winning three trophies with them. He also played for the Nigeria national team, playing 12 matches and competing at two AFCON tournaments.

Egbo’s journey from player to coach epitomizes resilience and determination, qualities that could prove invaluable in guiding the Super Eagles to greater heights on the international stage.

Michael Nsien’s footballing journey spans continents, with the versatile defender playing in the United States, Canada and United Arab Emirates during his playing days.

The Nigerian-American was also a member of the 2003 Nigerian U-23 National Team that ultimately failed to qualify for the 2004 Olympics in Athens. While his playing career was marked by consistency and commitment, it is Nsien’s foray into coaching that has garnered attention in recent years.

Nsien is part of a new generation of coaches currently saddled with the task of managing America’s future football talents and the gaffer has proven his mettle since he changed mantle from playing to coaching. Nsien, who holds a US Soccer Pro License (the first African-American to earn it in 2020) and UEFA ‘A’ License, is seen by his peers in the US as a trailblazer in a sector with very few black coaches.

Nsien’s coaching tenure at Tulsa Roughnecks FC in the United Soccer League showcased his ability to instill discipline, tactics, and cohesion within a team, laying the groundwork for success on the pitch. He enjoyed a decorated youth coaching career with Tulsa Soccer Club as Nsien won eight state championships from 2010 to 2018. In his three seasons as the Roughnecks full-time head coach, Nsien led the team to consecutive USL Championship Playoff berths in 2020 and 2021.

Thereafter he caught the attention of the United States Soccer Federation officials, who named him their U-16 MYNT in November 2022. Nsien had a successful spell with the squad, guiding them to a 4-1-1 international record with wins against England, Japan, Nigeria and Wales before serving as an assistant to interim USMNT head coach B.J. Callaghan during the 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup and then in September last year, the USSF again appointed Nsien to manage their U-19 team.

The Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Federation, Austine Eguavoen currently occupies the interim coaching role for the Super Eagles. As the clamor for a Nigerian coach to lead the national team persists among fans, Amuneke, Finidi, Egbo, and Nsien are laudable options as the stage is set for a new era in Nigerian football.