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Osimhen, Ighalo, Awoniyi make Eagles final AFCON list

Osimhen, Ighalo, Awoniyi make Eagles final AFCON list

Napoli striker Victor Osimhen has been included in Super Eagles 28-man list for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations which starts in Cameroon on January 9.

The list which was released by the Communications Department of the Nigeria Football Federation, has a place for top scorer at last AFCON, Odion Ighalo, who made a return to the Eagles last month after an over two years absence from the national team.

Union Berlin striker, Taiwo Awoniyi, is also making it to the tournament after his Eagles debut in the 1-0 World Cup qualifier loss to Central African Republic at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos on October 7.

There is also a place for former junior internationals Kelechi Nwakali and Sadiq Umar.

There had been doubts over Osimhen’s ability to be fit for the AFCON after fracturing his eye socket and cheekbone in Napoli’s 3-2 loss to Inter Milan on November 21.

The 22-year-old however declared himself fit for the AFCON after a successful operation.

Eagles interim head coach, Austin Eguavoen, named a crop of players used by Gernot Rohr – who was sacked on December 12 – for the AFCON.

The players include captain Ahmed Musa, his vice William Troost-Ekong and Watford teammate Emmanuel Dennis – who has been painting the English Premier League with goals – alongside Leicester City duo Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Nididi.

Glasgow Rangers duo Leon Balogun and Joe Aribo also made the squad, with teammate Calvin Bassey missing out after his maiden Eagles call-up.

Injury ruled out Oghenekaro Etebo from the squad, while the good goalscoring form of Cyriel Dessers was also shunned by the Eagles handlers.

According the the NFF statement, “All invited players, bar the UK-based crew, are expected to arrive in camp in the Nigeria’s federal capital, Abuja on 29th December, with the UK-based players expected to start arriving on Monday, 3rd January.”

The Eagles begin their quest for a fourth AFCON title with their group opener against Egypt on January 11.

They square up against Sudan four days later before playing their final group game against Guinea-Bissau on January 19.


Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); John Noble (Enyimba FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Abdullahi Shehu (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Olisa Ndah (Orlando Pirates, South Africa)

Midfielders: Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Galsgow Rangers, Scotland); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Kelechi Nwakali (SD Huesca, Spain)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Sadiq Umar (UD Almeria, Spain); Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin, Germany); Odion Jude Ighalo (Al-Shabab Riyadh, Saudi Arabia); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Emmanuel Dennis (Watford FC, England)

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