AFCON 2023 Qualifiers: Ahmed Musa, Osimhen, Aribo In, Gift Orban out as Poseiro releases list of invited Super Eagles

Super Eagles manager  José Santos Peseiro has released the list of invited players for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone in Monrovia. The list comprises most of the regular foreign-based players and a few players who play in the Nigeria Professional Football League.

One of the most noticeable omissions in the list is Gift Orban who plays in the Belgian Pro League for Gent. The 21-year-old forward had an exceptional season with 21 goals in 22 appearances as he helped his side qualify for next season’s Europa Conference League second qualifying round.

Victor Osimhen leads the list of Super Eagles attackers invited for the match. The Napoli striker whose 26 league goals contributed immensely to Napoli’s first Serie A title triumph in 33 years is set to retain his starting shirt in the team. Taiwo Awoniyi makes a return to the team after he helped Nottingham Forest survive relegation from the English Premier League last season. The former Union Berlin striker scored 6 goals and provided 2 assists in Nottingham Forest’s last 10 games of the season.

Wilfred Ndidi and Joe Aribo whose teams: Leicester City and Southampton were relegated from the Premier League last season made the list as well as Brentford’s Frank Onyeka who was under the knife for a decent period of time last season. Alex Iwobi who was named Everton’s Player of the Year got his invite deservedly. Bendel Insurance’s Divine Nwanchukwu completes the five midfielders invited.

Ola Aina and Chigozie Awaziem did not invite to the team once again as fast-rising right-back Bright Osayi-Samuel makes a return. Vice-captain Wiliams Troost-Ekoong, former youth international Kenneth Omeruo, Kevin Akpoguma, and Zaidu Sanusi all make their return to the team.

See the full list below;

Goalkeepers: Adebayo Adeleye (Hapoel Jerusalem, Israel); Victor Sochima (Rivers United); Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba FC)

Defenders: William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Calvin Bassey (Ajax FC, The Netherlands); Kevin Akpoguma (TSG Hoffenheim, Germany); Chidiebube Duru (Rivers United); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey)

Midfielders: Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Southampton FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Divine Nwachukwu (Bendel Insurance); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England)

Forwards: Moses Simon (Nantes FC, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Ahmed Musa (Sivasspor K, Turkey)    

The team will take on Sierra Lone at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium in Monrovia on Sunday, 18 June due to the absence of a CAF-approved stadium in Freetown or any other city in the country.

The Super Eagles lead their qualification group with nine points from four games, followed by Guinea Bissau’s Wild Dogs with seven. Leone Stars are on five points after a 2-1 loss to the Eagles on Day 1 of the qualifying series in Abuja. Sao Tome and Principe have only one point and will face the Super Eagles on the final day of the series in September.

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