Two of Nigeria’s most in form players at the moment Paul Onuachu and Peter Olayinka have been left out of the latest Super Eagles squad ahead of their crucial AFCON2021Q. Both players were considered only good enough for the standby list after the Nigeria Football Federation made the 24-man list for the games against Benin Republic and Lesotho public on Tuesday.
Onuachu, who is Nigeria’s leading scorer in Europe this season has been in fine form for his modest Belgian club, Genk, in the Jupiler.
The giant striker has contributed 27 goals in 29 matches for his club in the league alone this campaign.
For Olayinka, he has scored six goals and three assists in the League for Slavia Prague, while playing a key role as they booked a place in the last 16 of Europe’s second tier club competition, the Europa League, where he has scored two and assisted one in six matches.
However, it seems both players have to do more as coach Gernot Rohr has left them on the standby list.
Meanwhile, captain Ahmed Musa, who currently has no club, leads 23 others which include player from the NPFL, Enyimba’s goalkeeper, John Noble.
Also on the list are the usual suspects, latest Champions from Scotland, Leon Balogun and Joe Aribo, England contingent led by Wilfried Ndidi, club mate, Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi, William Troost-Ekong.
Ola Aina, Tyronne Ebuehi and a first ever call up for Almeria’s Sadiq Umar.
Nigeria is top of the Group E log with eight points, just a point ahead of Benin Republic and five more than third-placed Sierra Leone.
The Eagles are on the road first to battle the Squirrels at the Stade Charles de Gaulle in Porto Novo on Saturday, 27th March before taking on the Crocodiles of Lesotho at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos three days later.
THE FULL LIST
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (APOEL Nicosia, Cyprus); John Noble (Enyimba FC); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Boavista, Portugal); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Tyronne Ebuehi (FC Twente, The Netherlands)
Midfielders: Oghenekaro Etebo (Galatasaray FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Abdullahi Shehu (Omonia Nicosa, Cyprus); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Unattached); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Sadiq Umar (Almeria FC, Spain); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Kalu (FC Girondins Bordeaux, France); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France)
Standby: Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray FC, Turkey); Peter Olayinka (Slavia Praha, Czech Republic); Terem Moffi (FC Lorient, France); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium); Michael Olise (Reading FC, England); Adekunle Adeleke (Abia Warriors).