Ahead of next week’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification game against Seychelles, Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr has invited Enyimba FC left back Ikouwem Udo Utin to replace injured Bordeaux star Samuel Kalu.
Ikouwem is the captain of Nigeria’s Under-20 side that finished fourth at this year’s Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Niger last month. Ikouwem was named in the tournament’s Best XI alongside Valentine Ozornwafor and will now join his club mate in the national team camp when it opens on Monday in Asaba.
Super Eagles spokesman Toyin Ibitoye confirmed to www.aclsports.com on Friday afternoon that the 19-year old has been handed his maiden call up to the main Super Eagles squad.
“Ikouwem Udo Utin has been invited for our upcoming games against Seychelles and Egypt,” Ibitoye told www.aclsports.com
“He has been called up as a replacement to Girondins Bordeaux winger Samuel Kalu who has been ruled out due to injury,” added Ibitoye.
Ikouwem was a star act in Super Eagles “B” side’s run to the final of the 2018 African Nation’s Championship in Morocco and has since been a regular with former African champions Enyimba.
He is in line to make his first appearance of the season for Enyimba after having travelled with the rest of the squad to Akure for Sunday’s league game at Sunshine Stars from where he will join up with the Eagles in Asaba.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles are already through to Egypt 2019 after holding the Bafana Bafana of South Africa to a 1-1 draw in their last game in the qualifiers at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg.
The Eagles will face Seychelles who are without a win in the group on Friday, March 22 before facing AFCON hosts Egypt in a pre-AFCON warmup game on March 26, both at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.