Afcon 2021: Iheanacho, Iwobi leads Nigeria squad for January tourney

Nigeria interim coach Augustine Eguavoen has picked his 28-man squad for the country’s TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021 campaign, with Al Shabab’s Odion Ighalo and Napoli’s Victor Osimhen making the list.

Also included in the squad are midfielder Wilfred Ndidi who features for Leicester City alongside teammate and striker Kelechi Iheanacho, as well as Watford duo of William Troost Ekong and Emmanuel Dennis.

Captain and Nigeria’s most capped player of all time, Ahmed Musa and Brentford’s Frank Onyeka made the list, while there was no space in the backline for Venezia’s Tyronne Ebuehi.

Besides Orlando Pirates’ Olisa Ndah and SD Huesca’s Kelechi Nwakali eye-catching inclusions, Almeria’s Sadiq Umar and Union Berlin’s Taiwo Awoniyi were also the surprise additions in the attack, having earned their spots at the expense of injured Genk’s Paul Onuachu and Bordeaux’s Samuel Kalu.

The three-time African champions are making their 19th AFCON appearance and will be gunning in for a fourth title in the competition, after they won bronze on their last attempt at the 2019 edition staged in Egypt.

With the squad named, the Super Eagles are scheduled to begin their camping build up with invited players on 29 December 2021 in Abuja, before they will be later joined by UK based stars in the nation’s federal capital on 3 January 2022.

The team will open their outing against seven-time champions Egypt on January 11 before the second group tie puts them against Sudan four days later. They will round up the group phase against Guinea Bissau in Garoua.

Full Squad

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

Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); William Troost-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 (Glasgow 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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