Nigeria defender Semi Ajayi has stated the Super Eagles are in a transition phase after the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt in July, and with the addition of new players to the team, the Gernot Rohr-tutored side has a bright future.
Nigeria finished third at the inaugural 24-team AFCON in Egypt in July, even without the West Brom defender, who failed to make the squad.
Ajayi, who played an integral part in Nigeria’s 4-2 defeat of Lesotho in a 2021 AFCON qualifier in November, added that he enjoys the competition in the squad.
“I think that is natural for every national team that after a major tournament finishes, it’s almost a different new cycle begins. New players are introduced, older players may phase out or retire or whatever,” he said.
“We are at the beginning of a new cycle; it started really well. A lot of the new faces have slotted in really well and made a claim for a place. And it is to show you that the future is bright for Nigeria. We’ve got a lot of strength in depth, a lot of talent and a lot of competition for places, and that can only be healthy for the country going forward,” the 26-year-old centre-back concluded.
Ajayi himself, along with Joe Aribo, Peter Olayinka, Dennis Bonaventure are among the new faces in the Eagles set-up.