The Belgium-based forward did not make the initial 24-man list of players invited by the German tactician ahead of Nigeria’s March engagements, but he has finally earned his call-up
Gernot Rohr has invited Genk’s prolific forward Paul Onuachu to the Super Eagles camp to replace Nantes Moses Simon. The latter will no longer be available for Nigeria’s Afcon-qualifying matches against the Benin Republic and Lesotho later in the month.
Rohr initially snubbed Onuachu last week, preferring to invite Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, Almeria’s Umar Sadiq, and Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho as his striking options.
Injury to Girondins Bordeaux’s Samuel Kalu forced the German gaffer to invite Galatasaray’s Henry Onyekuru a few days ago, leaving only Lorient’s Terem Moffi and Onuachu as the only attacking players on the standby list.
However, struggling French club, Nantes announced on Wednesday that COVID-19 protocols would not allow them to release Moses Simon for the Afcon qualifiers, compelling Rohr to call up another replacement.
Assuming Simon was permitted to travel to Africa for these games, he would be asked to spend seven days in quarantine upon his return to France, and would be unable to take part in Nantes’ crucial Ligue 1 clash against OGC Nice on April 4.
With Moffi also based in France and likely to be denied the chance to leave the country and make his international debut, Rohr has instead named Onuachu as Simon’s replacement.
The Genk striker is Nigeria’s most prolific forward in Europe this term, scoring 27 goals in all competitions for the Belgian side.