Leicester City of England midfielder, Kelechi Iheanacho might have put himself into a tight spot for a place in Nigeria’s starting line-up against Ukraine, as he was the only Super Eagles’ invitee that missed the team’s first training session ahead of the game in Dnipro, megasportsarena.com gathered.
Iheanacho was the last to arrive at the Eagles’ camp, and he was not found among the 21 players that commenced training Sunday evening at FC Dnipro’s training ground, within the Pridniprovsk Housing Estate, ahead of the international friendly on Tuesday, starting at 7.30pm Nigeria time.
While Iheanacho kept everyone guessing until the squad rolled out for their first round of drills on the pitch, Chidozie Awaziem, Semi Ajayi and Ola Aina also arrived the team’s hotel late but were just in time to join their colleagues and take part in the training session.
Among those that trained on Sunday were goalkeepers Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Maduka Okoye, defenders William Ekong, Jamilu Collins, Leon Balogun, Ola Aina. Semi Ajayi, Chidozie Awaziem and Bryan Idowu.
Also present were midfielders Alex Iwobi, Joseph Aribo, Oghenekaro Etebo and Anderson Esiti, and forwards Joshua Maja, Samuel Kalu, Paul Onuachu, Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Emmanuel Dennis and Moses Simon.
Dennis was assigned jersey number nine previously worn by Odion Jude Ighalo, Simon took over number 11 from absent Henry Onyekuru, while Lokomotiv Moscow of Russia defender, Idowu got also absent Kenneth Omeruo’s number 22 kit.
There will also be new numbers for the array of debutants in the squad, as Tuesday’s match will give Joe Aribo, Emmanuel Dennis, Joshua Maja and Emil Maduka Okoye their Eagles’ debut, while Idowu and Ajayi are making spirited returns alongside Iheanacho.
However, Eagles’ coordinator, Patrick Pascal confirmed that Iheanacho, who could not make Nigeria’s squad list to this year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, was the last player to join the squad in Dnipro because he failed to catch his flight out of England.