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Brighton & Hove Albion
11:45 AM UTC
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Grading La Liga's Super Eagles so far this term

A swathe of relegation-threatened clubs in Spain opted to turn to Nigerian talent during the January transfer window in order to give themselves a boost ahead of the latter stages of the campaign.

While Emmanuel Emenike is yet to feature for Las Palmas, and Imoh Ezekiel has played for just 58 minutes, the other three players to have moved to Spain have begun to settle at their respective clubs.

However, have they done enough to suggest that they can fire their new employers away from the dropzone, and might any have piqued the interest of Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr ahead of the World Cup?

In this feature, KweséESPN examine the early impact of the three other Nigerian players to have moved to Spanish top flight, and assess whether any of the three could yet have a role to play in Russia.

Oghenekaro Etebo: The versatile midfielder continues to be Nigeria's standout performer in La Liga and, arguably, at Las Palmas as well.

Etebo hasn't looked out of place since his short-term switch from Feirense at the tail end of January, lasting the distance in all five consecutive matches, to demonstrate that his persistent knee problems appear to be a thing of the past.

He has consistently built on his man-of-the-match display on his debut against Malaga, and his commanding showing in Thursday night's draw against Barcelona at the Estadio de Gran Canaria has only helped in further raising his stock within a short period of time.

The midfielder has certainly suggested that the Canary Islanders might have enough about them to beat the drop.

How does all of this affect his prospects of making the 23-man team to Russia?

Etebo on the strength of his La Liga performances to date, isn't only guaranteed a maiden World Cup appearance, but is definitely pushing for a start in the Super Eagles lineup

Grade: A

Brown Ideye further cemented his tag as a journeyman when he completed a temporary switch to La Liga strugglers Malaga earlier this year. It's his seventh different league in a professional career which has spanned a decade abroad.

Ideye slotted in with ease into the lineup, claiming a role as the focal point of a three-man attack, but hasn't enjoyed much service in a team clearly hindered by a lack of creative players.

They continue to languish at the bottom of the table and look doomed for relegation.

Despite his constant isolation in attack, he has already managed a goal and outstanding performance, and appears determined to avoid a first career relegation.

Ideye's European return could possibly earn him a recall to the Super Eagles in the upcoming international friendlies.

It doesn't appear to be too far-fetched considering his unrivalled work rate, experience and holdup play in attack.

If he does manage to impress the Eagles technical crew, Ideye could be on the verge of making a second appearance at the World Cup after being a last-minute selection eight years ago in South Africa.

Grade: B

Isaac Success has failed to replicate the level of performance he demonstrated during his first La Liga spell since signing for Malaga.

The 22-year-old needed a fresh start following his well-documented troubles at Watford, where he wholly failed to live up to expectations despite the Hornets' significant outlay.

Success linked up with Jose Manuel Lopez at Malaga, a manager who previously coached him at Granada.

The reunion hasn't gone according to plan as the player appears clearly overweight, has lost his Midas touch, and often projects the image of a lost sheep on the pitch.

These are a few of the factors which have led to the near total decline of a striker who was tipped to be a potential world beater barely five years ago.

Following his 33-minute cameo appearance from the start against Sevilla on Wednesday, where he struggled to get involved, he does appear to have kissed a golden opportunity to make a first World Cup appearance goodbye.

It's not impossible that he will turn things around before the season's end, and in a recent interview with KweséESPN, Rohr revealed that the door is still open to the attacker.

Grade: E


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