Abuja – Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser Gernor Rohr has listed 24 players for two 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying fixtures against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone this month.
The players invited to camp include team captain Ahmed Musa, vicecaptain William Ekong and veteran defender Kenneth Omeruo.
On the list which has three goalkeepers, eight defenders, five midfielders and eight forwards are also two first-time call-ups, as well as a returning old-timer.
Kingsley Ehizibue of FC Koln and Holland-based forward Cyril Dessers have been called up for the first time, while England-based former Under-17 World Cup winner Kelechi Iheanacho returns to the fold.
There are also goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, defenders Leon Balogun and Olaoluwa Aina, midfielder Wilfred Ndidi and forwards Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen.
Nigeria, on six points from their first two matches and in a comfortable lead in their pool, host the Leone Stars at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba on March 27.
They will then head to Freetown to confront the Stars at the Siaka Stevens Stadium in the return four days later.
Ademola Olajire, Director of Communications at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), said in a statement on Wednesday that all invited players are to report in Asaba on March 23.
“The team’s technical and administrative officials are also expected to report on the the same day,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that victory in both games will virtually guarantee Nigeria a spot at the 33rd AFCON scheduled for Cameroon early next year.
They will thereafter be away to Benin Republic in Porto Novo in June and then at home against Lesotho early September.
ALL THE INVITED PLAYERS
Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC); Maduka Okoye (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany)
Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Wigan Athletic, England); 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); Kingsley Ehizibue (FC Koln, Germany)
Midfielders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Etebo Oghenekaro (Getafe FC, Spain); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Ramon Azeez (Granada FC, Spain)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Alexander Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Victor Osimhen (Lille OSC, France); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain)
Cyril Dessers (Heracles Almelo, The Netherlands); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France)