AS Monaco of France attacker, Henry Onyekuru is one of five players that have been placed on standby on the latest roster of invitees named for the Nigerian national tam by Franco-German gaffer, Gernot Rohr, ahead of two international friendlies next month in Austria, megasportsarena.com reports.
The upcoming games are against Cote d’Ivoire on October 9 and versus Tunisia four days later, for which Rohr has named 25 players in his squad list, but Onyekuru is on standby along with Abdullahi Shehu from Omonia Nicosia of Cyprus, Ramon Azeez from Granada of Spain, Joshua Maja from Girondins Bordeaux of France and Tyronne Ebuehi from FC Twente of Holland.
Rohr has also included six newcomers in the roll call of invitees, as Matthew Yakubu (SKF Sered of Slovakia), Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto of Portugal), Frank Onyeka (FC Midtjylland of Denmark), Cyril Dessers (Racing Genk of Belgium), Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow of Russia) and 2019 Golden Eaglets’ captain, Samson Tijani (TSV Hartberg of Austria) will all aim for their senior national team debuts.
The former Niger Republic, Gabon and Burkina Faso handler also granted recalls to 2013 Eaglets’ goalkeeper, Sunday Dele Alampasu and Vitoria Guimarães of Portugal midfielder, Mikel Ndubuisi Agu, but left out FC Cologne of Germany defender, Kingsley Ehizibue, who got his first call-up for the cancelled Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in March.
Also missing from the roster of players to battle The Elephants and Carthage Eagles are former first choice shot-stopper, Francis Odinaka Uzoho and regular home-based invitee, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Club Brugge of Belgium striker, Paul Ebere Onuachu as well as the injured duo of Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa keeper, Daniel Akpeyi and Glasgow Rangers of Scotland midfielder, Joe Aribo.
However, Aribo’s teammate, Leon Aderemi Balogun is included, despite still nursing an injury that kept him out of four matches in the Scottish Premiership, and he will join the camp along with seven other defenders, including UD Leganes of Spain stopper, Kenneth Omeruo, William Troost-Ekong from Udinese of Italy.
Also listed are team captain, Ahmed Musa, who will be joined in attack by Victor Osimhen, Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon and five other forwards, as well as Wilfred Onyinyen Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo and Alex Iwobi in midfielder.
Sparta Rotterdam of Holland’s new shot-stopper, Maduka Okoye is bound to start in his second game for the Eagles, after debuting in a top-notch friendly against Brazil last October, with high expectations of a maiden outing in brand new sets of jerseys for the squad, which is now ranked 29th in the world and third in Africa.
Both games are arranged by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to prepare the Eagles for the next rounds of the 2022 AFCON qualifiers, home and away against Sierra Leone in November; ahead of which the full list of invitees has three goalkeepers – Dele Alampasu (FK Ventspils, Latvia); Matthew Yakubu (SKF Sered, Slovakia); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands).
Also invited are eight defenders, being Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Boavista, Portugal); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Olaoluwa Aina (Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal).
Five midfielders are also named in the roster, namely Mikel Ndubuisi Agu (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal); Wilfred Onyinyen Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Frank Onyeka (FC Midtjylland, Denmark); Oghenekaro Etebo (Galatasary SK, Turkey); Samson Tijani (TSV Hartberg, Austria).
Others are nine forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Alex Iwobi (Everton, England); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal, Spain); Cyril Dessers (KRC Genk, Belgium); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia)