Paul Le Guen Looks Set To Be New Nigeria National Team Coach

Paul Le Guen Looks Set To Be New Nigeria National Team Coach

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have been without a permanent coach for most of 2016, but this is set to change as Frenchman Paul Le Guen looks likely to be named the new Nigeria national team coach.

The head coach position was vacated by Sunday Oliseh earlier in the year, and has been temporarily filled by Salisu Yusuf in recent times.

Yusuf is part of the three-man shortlist of coaches who are being considered for the permanent position, alonside Le Guen and Belgian Tom Saintfiet.

Saintfiet has since been named Bangladesh national team coach, leaving only Le Guen and the current Super Eagles care-taker coach available for the role.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have selected Le Guen as the new coach, according to The Punch, with Yusuf refusing the act as assistant under the Frenchman.

Le Guen was previously in charge of the Cameroon and Oman national teams, qualifying the Indomitable Lions for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The tournament itself was a disaster for the team, as they failed to progress from the group stages.

He also brings European club coaching experience to the Super Eagles, with time spent at the helm of French sides Brest, Nantes, Lyon, Rennes and Paris Saint-Germain, as well as Glasgow Rangers of Scotland.

World Cup task for Nigeria national team

The high profile position will certainly have its challenges, and when Le Guen is officially confirmed as the Nigerian head coach he will need to focus on the task that lies ahead.

The 2018 World Cup qualifying draw for the 20 African teams who still have a chance to qualify for the tournament took place in Cairo in June, and Nigeria was drawn in what many have called the ‘group of death’.

The third round of qualifying saw the Super Eagles drawn in Group B alongside Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia, with only one of these African giants set to emerge with a ticket to the next World Cup in Russia.

This will be a priority for Le Guen, as he will not be able to take his team to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Gabon following the team’s failure to qualify for the flagship continental tournament.

Nigeria begin their qualification campaign with an away match against the Chipolopolo of Zambia on October 3, before welcoming Africa’s top ranked team, Algeria, on November 7.