If Nigeria ever need an imposing physical presence at the back, Azubuike Egwuekwe is their man. A towering central defender at almost two-metres tall, the Warri Wolves player is capable of dominating the box in the air.

He is also a very committed player, who even cut short his honeymoon earlier this year to travel to Tunisia to play in a CAF Confederations Cup match for his club. He has surprising mobility and is capable of tackling with both strength and timing, making him a vital asset for Stephen Keshi, who has made the 24-year-old one of the key domestic-based players in his team.

Egwuekwe, who captains his club side, has improved his confidence with the ball at his feet since debuting for the Super Eagles in 2012. He missed out on making an impact at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations last year due to a bout of chicken pox, but played in two Super Eagles matches at the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013. He was also a regular for his side at the African Nations Championship – a competition for which only locally-based players are eligible – in South Africa earlier this year.