Nigeria coach: Mosimane and 4 candidates for Super Eagles coaching job

Who will be the next Nigeria coach?

Nigeria are once again at that stage where they are in desperate need of a substantive coach following the expiration of Jose Peseiro’s contract.

The former Porto boss was in charge of the Super Eagles for a period of 18 months and left the job with mixed feelings among fans.

Although Peseiro did not really institute an endearing style of play and was mostly criticised for his conservative approach to games, he finally earned his flowers during the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in the Ivory Coast.

The 63-year-old played to the strength of his players, surpassing the semi-final target set for him by leading Nigeria to the final, where they suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat to the hosts.

After weeks of discussing with the NFF, both parties finally decided to part ways after the Nigeria coach’s contract expired at the end of February.

Peseiro’s departure leaves a void that has to be filled, and a number of names have already been linked with the vacant Super Eagles job.

Augustine Eguavoen is reportedly in line to be named interim coach, while the likes of Finidi George and Emmanuel Amunike, both assistant coaches of the Super Eagles, have also been mooted as possible replacements for the outgone Portuguese tactician.

Below, Afrik Foot takes a look at five coaches who could replace Peseiro as Nigeria coach.

Nigeria coach – top candidates for Super Eagles job

Pitso Mosimane

Mosimane and 4 other coaches who could become next Super Eagles boss
Photo by Icon Sport

Pitso Mosimane has been linked with the role as Nigeria coach for a long time now. The South African manager himself has often spoken fondly of the Super Eagles and said in 2023 that it’s a job he would consider if offered.

However, Mosimane doesn’t come cheap and it’s almost likely that the NFF would not be able to afford his wages.

The 59-year-old is currently the manager of Saudi Pro League side Abha Club, who offered him a lucrative salary to join them in January 2024.

Mosimane, however, would be a good replacement for Peseiro, having coached extensively in Africa and won multiple trophies, including the CAF Champions League with both Mamelodi Sundowns and Al Ahly.

He did have an unsuccessful stint in charge of Bafana Bafana a decade ago, but the time is right for him to return to the international dugout.

Chris Hughton

Chris Hughton recently became available after he was fired following Ghana’s disappointing showing at the AFCON in the Ivory Coast.

The Irish coach took over the Black Stars job with a decent CV, having managed Premier League clubs like Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion.

However, he didn’t live up to expectations, with Ghana’s group-stage exit at the AFCON doing some damage to his managerial reputation. Hughton, though, would be looking to return to management immediately and could be an option for Nigeria.

He may have failed with Ghana but he’s a coach known for bringing stability to the teams that he manages and the Super Eagles could do with some of that at the moment.

Would he be the right choice as Nigeria coach?

Djamel Belmadi

Another possible Nigeria coach who is currently available on the market is Djamel Belmadi. Belmadi was fired by Algeria in January after the Desert Foxes crashed out of the AFCON at the group stage.

However, the French-born tactician’s stocks remain high, as he was the same manager who led Algeria to win the AFCON in 2019.

Belmadi may also be a cheaper option compared to other managers, but he has over a decade’s experience in coaching, and if Nigeria need a man who is abreast with African football and has won the AFCON, then Belmadi could be that guy.

Augustine Eguavoen

Mosimane and 4 other coaches who could become next Super Eagles boss
Photo by Icon Sport

Augustine Eguavoen appears very likely to take charge as Nigeria coach on an interim basis, but it would be shrewd for the NFF to give him a longer contract.

As technical director for the Nigerian national team, he knows the players inside out. Also, he didn’t do too badly when he was handed the reins in 2021 as caretaker manager.

It’s obvious that leading Nigeria to a round of 16 exit at the 2021 AFCON and failing to qualify for the 2022 World Cup turned the fans against him, but the Super Eagles played some of their best football under Eguavoen.

If the NFF is looking for a man who is familiar with the national team and has a proven track record of delivering attacking football, then Eguavoen should be a serious candidate to be considered.

Rui Vitoria

Nigeria’s experiment with Jose Peseiro may not have worked out perfectly but there were also some positives, which brings us to the question: Should the NFF be looking at another Portuguese manager?

If the answer is yes, then Rui Vitoria could be considered for the vacant role as Nigeria coach. The 53-year-old is currently without a club after parting ways with Egypt following their elimination from the AFCON.

Despite his relatively young age, Vitoria has extensive experience in coaching, having managed Benfica, Al Nassr and Spartak Moscow in the past. He has also won several trophies across his career and could offer something new as Nigeria coach.

Avatar photo
Emmanuel Ayamga

Emmanuel Ayamga is an African sports writer, with bylines on DW, Al Jazeera, World Soccer Magazine and These Football Times.