Since 2016, Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong have been defensive partners for the Super Eagles of Nigeria. They featured together severally, including at the 2018 World Cup, building a solid partnership and earning the nickname, “Oyinbo Wall”. The name was given to the foreign-born centre back pair, for their very obvious ‘light-skinned’ complexion.Embed from Getty Images
The ‘Oyinbo Wall’ partnership however ended abruptly after the World Cup, with Leon Balogun losing his place at Brighton. Troost-Ekong has since been playing in the heart of the Super Eagles defence with several other players. Kenneth Omeruo and Semi Ajayi have both done well, with the former playing alongside Ekong during AFCON 2019 .
Semi Ajayi will be playing in the English Premier League next season with West Brom and he will continue to fight for a spot. Omeruo is now in La Liga 2 with CD Leganes following their relegation last season which could affect his chances. Awaziem was also relegated with CD Leganes but made a return to Portugal, joining Boavista on loan from FC Porto.
Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr has always insisted that Balogun remains in contention once he was playing regularly again, and the 32-year recently joined Scottish side, Rangers FC on a one-year deal. He was impressive in 3 appearances to start the 2020/2021 season before picking up a minor injury.
Could this signal the return of the ‘Oyinbo Wall’ ? Only time will tell.
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