UD Leganes of Spain defender, Kenneth Omeruo was among the early arrivals at the Super Eagles’ camp in Austria, ahead of Friday’s friendly against Algeria and another with Tunisia four days later, megasportsarena.com reports.
Information on offer from the Eagles’ base revealed that Omeruo was joined on the early plane by two debuting invitees, Austria-based former Golden Eaglets’ captain, Samson Tijani and CSKA Moscow of Russia winger, Chidera Ejuke as well as French-based wingers Samuel Kalu and Moses Simon, followed by Glasgow Rangers of Scotland defender Leon Balogun and first-time goalkeeper Mathew Yakubu.
Hours later, three England-based defenders – William Troost-Ekong, Semi Ajayi and Ola Aina, as well as forward Leicester City attacker, Kelechi Iheanacho landed, followed by Latvia-based goalkeeper Sunday Dele Alampasu, defender Jamilu Collins, midfielder Frank Onyeka, Cyril Dessers and Alex Iwobi.
Also, as he countenances imminent approval of his international switch to the Super Eagles of Nigeria, former Germany U20 captain Kevin Akpoguma has arrived at the team’s hotel in Austria to familiarise with the Nigeria set-up and bond with the other players.
Three–time African champions file out against The Fennecs at Jacques Lemans Arena on Friday before taking on Tunisia at the same venue on Tuesday, with both matches starting at 9.30pm Nigeria time.
Omeruo’s availability for the international fixtures in October had been in doubt after he suffered an injury in a pre-season friendly against Albacete Balompié exactly a month ago, but he has since bounced back to top form and looking good to shine on Friday.
On the other hand, Galatasaray of Turkey midfielder, Oghenekaro Etebo has withdrawn from the Nigeria squad for the upcoming international friendlies against Algeria and Tunisia after picking up a knock in his club’s game yesterday.
Though Galatasaray suffered a 1-0 loss to Kasimpasa in the Turkish Super Lig, a game in which Etebo went the distance, he earned rave reviews for his energetic performance in a 90-minute shift.
Etebo pulling out of the Super Eagles squad is certainly a big blow to manager Gernot Rohr as the remaining central midfielders named to the roster have only seven caps between them, or to put in another way they are greenhorns on the international stage.
Along with Ejuke and Tijani of TSV Hartberg of Austria, another new invitee is Frank Onyeka of FC Midtjylland of Holland, while Mikel Ndubuisi Agu has been inactive for the national team since going the distance against Uganda in November 2018.
Leicester City of England midfielder, Wilfred Onyinyen Ndidi was the first to withdraw from the squad due to a groin complaint before SSC Napoli of Italy striker, Victor Osimhen was forced out on Sunday on account of a scare over coronavirus outbreak at his club.
In contrast with Etbo’s withdrawal as well as the absences of Ndidi and Osimhen, Samuel Kalu enters the national teal fold again in boisterous mood, having impressed for Girondins-Bordeaux of France in their first home win of the season on Sunday, as they beat Dijon 3-0 at Stade Matmut-Atlantique.
The former SK Trencin of Slovakia and KAA Gent of Belgium winger is enjoying a new lease of life under manager Jean-Louis Gasset and his first half goal against Dijon was his second in three games, and he revealed that the players are motivated and confident ahead of their trip to Orange Vélodrome, where they face Olympique Marseille in their first match after the break.
Kalu stated: “I feel great we won 3-0 today, this is our first home win so we feel very motivated. We are just looking forward to the next game, it is going to be tough. We have a lot of confidence to face the next game, we hope we have a good result in the next game so we continue working hard.”