—Haruna Dropped, Iheanacho Ignored
Super Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh, has included goalkeeper and captain Vincent Enyeama, midfielder Mikel Obi and forwards Victor Moses and Odion Ighalo among 24 players for next month’s friendly internationals against Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon in Belgium, the Nigeria Football Federation announced on Friday.
Completesportsnigeria.com had exclusively reported days ago that all these players would be called up for the October friendlies.
Carl Ikeme, the Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper who had an excellent debut against Tanzania, as well as home -based goalkeepers Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Femi Thomas are also included.
However, there is no place for Manchester City youngster Kelechi Iheanacho, while Haruna Lukman was dropped.
Former junior international defender Abdullahi Shehu gets his first opportunity at senior level, and Moses Simon, who scored against Niger Republic, is also considered, alongside home boys Chima Akas, Austin Oboroakpo, Paul Onobi and Prince Aggrey.
The Super Eagles play the Leopards of the Democratic Republic of Congo on October 8 and the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon three days later, in Belgium.
The winner of the preliminary round between Swaziland and Djibouti will host the Super Eagles on November 9 in a 2018 FIFA World Cup first round qualifier, with the Eagles hosting the return leg in Nigeria eight days later.
All invited players are expected to arrive in Belgium on Monday, 5 October.
THE FULL SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille OSC, France); Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Sunshine Stars); Femi Thomas (Enyimba FC)
Defenders: Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Abdullahi Shehu (Uniao da Madeira, Portugal); Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco, France); Chima Akas (Sharks FC); Godfrey Oboabona (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); William Troost Ekong (FK Haugesund, Norway); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa SK, Turkey); Austin Oboroakpo (Abia Warriors)
Midfielders: Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Paul Onobi (Sunshine Stars); Obiora Nwankwo (Coimbra FC, Portugal); John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Rabiu Ibrahim (AS Trencin, Slovakia)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Emmanuel Emenike (Al Ain, UAE); Sylvester Igbonu (FC UFA, Russia); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (West Ham United, England); Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England); Prince Aggrey (Sunshine Stars)