A left-sided player who started out as an attacker, Elderson Uwa Echiejile keeps his offensive attributes well-utilised even from his now-favoured left-back position. His ability to get forward down the flank and whip in crosses could be one of Nigeria’s secret weapons, if he finds match action. The 22-year-old is typically considered an understudy to Taye Taiwo in the full-back spot, but he took his opportunity when Taiwo suffered a dip in form at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year.
After the Super Eagles were dismantled 3-1 by Egypt in their first match in Angola, Echiejile started the second against Benin and helped the team hold on for a 1-0 victory. He kept his place through shutout wins over Mozambique and Zambia, earning positive notices for his energetic running and growing confidence. After doing well in the 1-0 loss to west African rivals Ghana in the last four, Echiejile gave way to Taiwo, who came back for the third-place victory over Algeria. So the two could be considered neck-and-neck for the position.
Echiejile had previously displayed his pace on the pitches of Canada at the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup and made his full international debut in the famous 1-0 victory over France in Paris. Despite showing his precociousness then, he only appeared in three qualifiers for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, but two of those were the final wins over Mozambique and Kenya that allowed the Super Eagles to sneak into the finals at the last.