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The Super Eagles’ recruitment policy is one of the hot topics we explore in this week’s African Football HQ podcast, as Malek Shafei and Ed Dove assess the comments made by NFF President Amaju Pinnick.

The Nigerian football chief recently spoke—on an Instagram live—about Nigeria’s pursuit of Arsenal wonder-kid Bukayo Saka, one of the revelations of the Premier League season.

Pinnick suggested that the West African giants wouldn’t be forced into begging for players to represent them, but what should Nigeria—and the continent’s other national sides—be doing to make sure the best dual-nationality players aren’t tempted to represent European teams?

Editors’ Picks

One of Saka’s teammates also made headlines this weekend as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted a brace as the Gunners dispatched Manchester City in the FA Cup.

The goals served to silence Auba’s critics, many of whom have questioned whether he can be a player for the big occasions or whether he is little more than a flat-track bully.

It’s a question explored by Oluwaseye Omidiora in a recent editorial on Goal Africa, and is a key talking point in the pod, where we’re always quick to celebrate one of the continent’s big-name stars.

There were also FA Cup showings—successfully and unsuccessfully—for the likes of Nicolas Pepe, Eric Bailly, and Riyad Mahrez, while Odion Ighalo was only given a minimal run-out by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United succumbed to Chelsea.

Ahead of the final day of the Championship on Wednesday, we also turn our attention to the second tier, where various African players are still in with a shot of securing the second automatic promotion berth after champions Leeds United.

Semi Ajayi’s West Bromwich Albion and Said Benrahma’s Brentford both ceded the initiative during a dramatic penultimate weekend, but the Baggies will still clinch second place if they defeat Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday.

Fulham, for whom Neeskens Kebano excelled in victory over Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend, can still muscle their way into the top two if they beat Wigan Athletic.

The pod assesses the various promotion hopefuls’ chances of success, cast an eye over the strugglers at the bottom of the table.


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