Youngsters Francis Uzoho and Chidiebere Nwakali have been called up for Nigeria’s upcoming fixtures against Algeria and Argentina as Gernot Rohr assesses some new options with one eye on next summer’s World Cup.
Uzoho, 19, has played two La Liga games so far for Deportivo La Coruna and has acquitted himself admirably, notably in the 0-0 draw at Eibar.
20-year-old Nwakali is a Manchester City loanee, who has scored three goals from 25 appearances as a midfielder with Sogndal Fotball in Norway. The 2013 U-17 world champion is expected to provide cover in his natural position of right-back.
Nigeria’s qualification for the World Cup with one game to spare has allowed Rohr the luxury of trying out new faces in the final group game against Algeria.
With an eye on maintaining Nigeria’s unbeaten streak in World Cup qualifying and a high-profile friendly against Argentina, the Super Eagles coach has named a strong squad for the two games in Algeria and Russia.
However, these fixtures are still opportunities for some fresh faces to be assessed, especially in the two problematic positions of goalkeeper and right back.
An NFF statement advised all invited players to arrive in a camp in Morocco on Monday 6 November, before the delegation flies to Constantine on Thursday 9 November.
According to the statement by NFF Communications Director Ademola Olajire, a 45-seater chartered aircraft will fly the Super Eagles from Constantine to Krasnodar in Russia, where they will play Argentina on November 14.
THE FULL LIST
Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC Ifeanyi Ubah); Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain)
Defenders: William Troost-Ekong (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag, The Netherlands); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Uche Agbo (Standard Liege, Belgium); Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC, France); Ola Aina (Hull City, England).
Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Tianjin TEDA, China); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (CD Feirense, Portugal); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Mikel Agu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidiebere Nwakali (Sogndal FC, Norway)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester City, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China); Henry Onyekuru (RSC Anderlecht, Belgium); Anthony Nwakaeme (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)
STANDBY: Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey); Alhassan Ibrahim (FK Austria Wien, Austria); Brian Idowu (FC Amkar Perm, Russia).