Nigeria’s manager Gernot Rohr has released the 23-man list to prosecute the friendly match between the Super Eagles and the Yellow Blue of Ukraine at the Dnipro Arena on September 10.
The German tactician has sprung a few surprises while extending first time invitations to a couple of players with a view to handing them their international debuts.
The biggest omissions are John Mikel Obi and striker Odion Ighalo both of whom announced their retirement from international football immediately after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. Also missing from the AFCON squad is goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi who had a less-than-impressive tournament.
In his place is 19-year-old Maduka Okoye, who has risen to prominence at Fortuna Dusseldorf of Germany. It is the first call up for the youngster who is also eligible to play for Germany.
Ukraine vs Nigeria: Gernot Rohr list.
Any surprises? pic.twitter.com/DjfoQr5uke
— Imhons Erons (@Imhons) August 14, 2019
Equally likely to earn his first cap is Glasgow Rangers’ midfielder Joe Aribo. The 23 -year-old recently moved to Scotland after spending four years at Charlton Athletic were he banged in 14 goals in 81 league appearances.
Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho has been recalled after enjoying a brilliant preseason while Benfica’s fullback Tyronne Ebuehi is back in the squad following his recovery from a year-long injury.
Also earning a recall is West Brom’s Oluwasemilogo Ajayi. The defender is enjoying a new lease of life at the Championship club after recently joining from relegated Rotherham United, having not missed a single minute of all Albiom’s matches so far this season.
This would be the first ever time that the former Africa champions will face the Ukrainians at the senior level.
FULL LIST OF 23 EAGLES FOR UKRAINE FRIENDLY
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC); Emil Maduka Okoye (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany)
Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Tyronne Ebuehi (FC Benfica, Portugal); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Brom, England)
Midfielders: Alexander Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Joe Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar FC, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Lille OSC, France); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (AS Monaco, France); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain)
This is the first match the Super Eagles will play since winning the bronze medal at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, having been defeated at the semifinal stage by eventual winners, Algeria.