Nigeria’s under-23 national team, Olympic Eagles’ coach, Imama Amapakabo has sensationally left a spot o[pen form SV Mainz 05 of Germany striker, Taiwo Awoniyi in his final squad list for next month’s African championship in Egypt, megasportsarena.com reports.
With several top-rated foreign-based players not likely to be released by their various clubs for the African U-23 Cup of Nations in Egypt, which will serve as qualifiers for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, Amapakabo had already revealed plans to look elsewhere in filling his squad roster, but Awoniyi appears to have confirmed his availability for the competition.
Additional information in this regard, though, indicates that the former SV Frankfurt of Germany, NEC Nijmegen of Holland as well as ex-Royal Mouscron and AA Gent of Belgium ace, who is on loan at Mainz from current English Premier League leaders, Liverpool, will miss Nigeria’s opening game against Cote d’Ivoire on November 9, but will be available for the team’s subsequent ties.
Awoniyi, though, will not join the squad in Abuja, as they leave for Egypt on Thursday, with the legion of overseas-based lads already beefed up by the arrivals of Valentine Uzornwafor (Spain), Tom Dele-Bashiru (England), Muyiwa Olabiran (Russia), Samuel Atvati (Tunisia), Sincere Seth (Turkey), Kelechi Nwakali (Spain), Orji Okwonkwo (Canada) and Bright Enobakhare (England).
Ahead of Thursday’s departure, Amapakabo has reportedly already dropped eight home-based players to make room available for as much as 16 from overseas, who will make the final cut to the tournament in Egypt, with the gaffer set to name his 23-man squad before they fly out.
However, a handful of home-based players who are certain of making the trip to Egypt include goalkeeper Abubakar Adamu, defenders Ebube Duru, Olisa Ndah and Stephen Manyo, midfielder Fatai Gbadamosi as well as striker Sunusi Ibrahim.