By Victor Okoye
Abuja, Dec. 25, 2021
Head Coach Augustine Eguavoen has released his final list of Super Eagles players for the 33rd Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), with recuperating striker Victor Osimhen making the cut.
Ademola Olajire, Director of Communications at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), in a statement on Saturday said team captain Ahmed Musa and midfielder Wilfred Ndidi also made the list.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria, three–times winners of the competition are drawn in Group D of the event billed for Cameroon from Jan. 9 to Feb. 6.
Nigeria will take on seven-times and record winners Egypt, Sudan and debutants Guinea Bissau with venue of their group matches in the northern town of Garoua.
A mouth-watering clash with the Pharaohs in the group opener on Jan. 11 means the Eagles must hit the ground at blistering pace.
Eguavoen has now selected four goalkeepers, nine defenders, five midfielders and 10 forwards to aim for Nigeria’s fourth title win in Cameroon.
The list essentially has several of the team’s old names, with Musa, Ndidi, William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo, Odion Ighalo and Daniel Akpeyi the most notable.
But there is a return to the group for former FIFA Under-17 World Cup–winning captain Kelechi Nwakali, forward Emmanuel Dennis and 2016 Olympics star Sadiq Umar.
NAN reports that all but some of the invited players were expected to arrive in camp in Abuja on Wednesday.
It is only the UK-based players that are expected to start arriving on Jan. 3.
THE FULL LIST
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); John Noble (Enyimba FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy)
Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Abdullahi Shehu (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Olisa Ndah (Orlando Pirates, South Africa)
Midfielders: Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Galsgow Rangers, Scotland); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Kelechi Nwakali (SD Huesca, Spain)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Sadiq Umar (UD Almeria, Spain); Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin, Germany)
Odion Jude Ighalo (Al-Shabab Riyadh, Saudi Arabia); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Emmanuel Dennis (Watford FC, England).