AFCON 2021 QUALIFIERS
- Balogun, Etebo, Olayinka on standby
Super Eagles Captain, Ahmed Musa, goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi and France-based Samuel Kalu have made their way back to the Nigerian senior team after missing the high-profile friendly with Brazil in Singapore recently.
The trio were listed in the 23-man squad Coach Gernot Rohr invited for next
month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches against Benin Republic and Lesotho.
While Musa’s absence was down to the back injury he sustained at his Saudi Arabia club, Akpeyi was overlooked for the clash with Brazil in order for the handlers to give new boy, Maduka Okoye of Fortuna Dusseldorf in the German Bundesliga the chance to show his skill.
The injury sustained by first choice goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho, appears to have open fresh doors for the Kaiser Chiefs safe hands. The call is also the first for Akpeyi since the AFCON 2019 ended in Egypt last July.
Both Okoye and Ikechukwu Ezenwa are in the squad to do battles with Benin Republic and Lesotho.
Defender Kenneth Omeruo is also back, while there is another opportunity for midfielder Mikel Agu to flow back to the mainstream.
France-based utility player, Kalu returns after missing the prestige friendly against Brazil. England-based midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo and Leon Balogun are on standby.
Super Eagles who won the bronze medals in Egypt will open their campaign for a place in Cameroon 2021 by welcoming the Squirrels of Benin Republic (who also featured in Egypt) to the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo on Wednesday, 13th November, before flying to Maseru to play Lesotho’s Crocodiles on Sunday, 17th November, on Day Two of the qualifying series.
THE INVITED 23 EAGLES
Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC); Maduka Okoye (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany)
Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (CD Leganes, Spain); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia)
Midfielders: Alexander Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Ramon Azeez (Granada FC, Spain)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Lille OSC, France); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium); Emmanuel Dennis (Club Brugge, Belgium); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France);
Standby: Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Peter Olayinka (SK Slavia Prague, Czech Republic); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City, England)