Nigeria vs Argentina: 5 Premier League targets to watch

Enzo Perez, and Ramon Azeez are among the players on show at the World Cup who have already caught the eye of teams like Manchester United and Arsenal.

Nigeria edged ever closer to a second round meeting with France after overcoming Bosnia-Herzegovina in a tight contest last time out.

Argentina went one better against Iran with Lionel Messi’s injury time goal sealing a place in the knockout stages but with a Super Eagles win meaning the African side finishes top, there is still plenty to play for.

And while the likes of Gonzalo Higuain and Emmanuel Emenike are expected to play prominent roles, a number of players linked to Premier League moves could also prove decisive – here are five to look out for.

Godfrey Oboabona – Caykur Rizespor

Stephen Keshi was handed a major boost ahead of their final group game against Argentina with the news that Oboabona had been passed fit for the game, having missed the Bosnia clash through injury.

Just 23, the defender is already an important part of the Super Eagles setup and has previously been linked with moves to Arsenal and Newcastle United. Currently plying his trade in Turkey, another shutout against Argentina could prompt more Premier League interest.

Ricardo Alvarez – Inter Milan

Once a target of Arsenal after impressing with Velez Sarsfield in Argentina, Alvarez ultimately opted to move to Serie A and Inter Milan where he has played regularly for much of the past three seasons though the Nerazzurri have failed to pick up anything in the way of silverware during that time.

Included in Alejandro Sabella’s squad for the World Cup, the 26-year-old has yet to make an appearance in Brazil, though he could feature against Nigeria should Argentina find themselves in a comfortable position. That could give suitors Tottenham to catch another glimpse of the midfielder.

Michael Uchebo – Cercle Brugge

A goalscorer for Nigeria in a recent 2-2 friendly draw with Scotland, Uchebo has made no secret of his desire to move to England, having made eyes at Stoke City back when the Potters were rumoured to be weighing up a move for the then VVV Venlo striker.

Used as an impact substitute by Keshi, Uchebo’s aerial ability could make him a valuable asset against Argentina, while his penchant for headers would make him a welcome addition to the cross-heavy Premier League.

Enzo Perez – Benfica

Impressive for the Portuguese giants this term, Perez may be the ripe of age of 28 but that hasn’t stopped the likes of Manchester United from being linked to the midfielder who is reportedly one of Louis van Gaal’s key summer transfer targets.

Another player yet to appear for Argentina at these finals, Sabella could opt to introduce Perez against Nigeria, giving the recently-recovered-from-injury Fernando Gago a much-needed break ahead of any second round encounter.

Ramon Azeez – Almeria

Fresh from helping his La Liga employers avoid relegation from the Spanish top flight, Azeez is one for the future, though he did start the Super Eagles’ first group game against Iran in a largely forgettable World Cup encounter.

Better things could come against Argentina and in any subsequent second round game, with Azeez already believed to be in the thoughts of those behind the scenes at Manchester City and Manchester United among others. One to watch.

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