The Everton star is part of a youthful-looking Super Eagles squad that heads to the Africa Cup of Nations in an emboldened mood.

Nigeria interim manager Augustine Eguavoen must unleash Alex Iwobi free at the Cup of Nations – just not against Egypt on January 12.

Eguavoen has won widespread plaudits for his youth-infused squad to Cameroon.

The likes of Taiwo Awoniyi, Maduka Okoye and Iwobi himself head to Cameroon unburdened by the fear of failure, and the former Arsenal playmaker offers the Super Eagles something of an X factor at the tournament.

He can produce moments of magic from very little, and his direct and powerful dribbling style will always cause problems to any defence, so is it time to let him go and play in Cameroon?

Against Guinea Bissau and Sudan, yes, but against the Egyptians in the opening game on January 12, Eguavoen should err on the side of caution.

One failing placed at Iwobi’s door is his habit of gifting possession away too frequently.

Losing the ball is always likely to happen when you are a creative talent trying to carve out chances for your team, but should Nigeria hand the ball to the e, then they may go a long time without getting it back.

With Mahmoud Hassan Trezeguet, Mohamed Elneny, Hamdi Fathi, Amr El-Sulya, Emam Ashour, Ahmed Sayed Zizo, Abdallah El-Said and Omar Marmoush in their ranks, the Pharoahs know how to hold on to the ball, and while Iwobi’s wild abandon may be a huge positive against Guinea Bissau and Sudan, Nigeria will have to be disciplined against Carlos Queiroz side.


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