By Duro Ikhazuagbe
In addition to the usual suspects, Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, yesterday called up six fresh players amongst the 25 he invited to camp ahead of next month’s international friendlies with Cote d’Ivoire and Tunisia. The two games are scheduled for Austria.
Some of the fresh faces in Rohr’s team for the friendlies include Chidera Ejuke from CSKA Moscow and Genk striker Cyriel Dessers.
Other uncapped players include; Goalkeeper Matthew Yakubu, new FC Porto signing Zaidu Sanusi as well as midfielders Samson Tijani and Frank Onyeka.
The usual suspects like Captain Ahmed Musa, Alex Iwobi, Kenneth Omeruo, William Troost-Ekong, Wilfred Ndidi and Oghenekaro Etebo, Ola Aina and Semi Ajayi are all for the A-list friendlies.
Former U17 World Cup winning goalkeeper Dele Alampasu returns to the group, as well as midfielder Mikel Agu.
Goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, now in The Netherlands, is heading to Austria as England-based forward Kelechi Iheanacho also returns. Victor Osimhen, now in Italy with Napoli, and another former U17 World Cup winner Samuel Chukwueze are also called. Five players are on standby.
The Super Eagles, now ranked 29th in the world and third in Africa, will take on the Elephants on 9th October and four days later, will engage the Carthage Eagles, who are second best team in Africa in the rankings.
Both games have been arranged by the Nigeria Football Federation to prepare the Eagles for the next rounds of 2022 AFCON qualifiers, home and away against Sierra Leone in November.
THE FULL LIST
Goalkeepers: Dele Alampasu (FK Ventspils, Latvia); Matthew Yakubu (SKF Sered, Slovakia); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Boavista, Portugal); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Olaoluwa Aina (Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal)
Midfielders: Mikel Agu (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Frank Onyeka (FC Midtjylland, Denmark); Oghenekaro Etebo (Galatasary SK, Turkey); Samson Tijani (TSV Hartberg, Austria)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Cyril Dessers (KRC Genk, Belgium); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia)
Standby: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor, Turkey); Ramon Azeez (Granada CF, Spain); Joshua Maja (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Henry Onyekuru (AS Monaco, France); Tyronne Ebuehi (FC Twente, Netherlands)