Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has called up 25 players ahead of next month’s friendly matches against the Elephants of Ivory Coast and the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia, scheduled for Austria.
Five other players have been put on standby, according to a statement from the Nigeria Football Federation on Monday.
The statement, titled ‘Rohr lists Musa, Ekong, 23 others for Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia friendlies’, was signed by NFF’s spokesperson, Ademola Olajire.
Those newly-invited to the Super Eagles squad are Matthew Yakubu (SKF Sered, Slovakia), Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal), Frank Onyeka (FC Midtjylland, Denmark), Samson Tijani (TSV Hartberg, Austria), Cyriel Dessers (KRC Genk, Belgium), and Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia).
In the three-time African champions’ first games this year, Rohr invited top names Ahmed Musa, Kenneth Omeruo, William Ekong, and Wilfred Ndidi.
Former U-17 World Cup-winning goalkeeper Dele Alampasu returns to the group, as well as midfielder Mikel Agu.
Captain of Nigeria’s U-17 squad, Samson Tijani, will join up with the elite, as well as Portugal –based exciting wing back Zaidu Sanusi.
Goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, now in The Netherlands, is heading for Austria as England–based forward Kelechi Iheanacho also returns.
Victor Osimhen, now in Italy with Napoli, and another former U-17 World Cup winner Samuel Chukwueze are also called.
“The Super Eagles, now ranked 29th in the world and third in Africa, will take on the Elephants on October 9 and four days later, will engage the Carthage Eagles, who are second in Africa in the rankings.
“Both games have been arranged by the NFF to prepare the Eagles for the next rounds of 2022 AFCON qualifiers, home and away against Sierra Leone in November,” the statement added.
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); Cyriel 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)