Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr has included under-fire China based attacker Odion Ighalo among the twenty-two players who he intends to use in prosecuting the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Seychelles next month.
Nigeria will face Seychelles in Victoria on September 7, 2018 in their first match since losing to Argentina in their World Cup final group game at the St Petersburg Stadium in June; a match during which Ighalo incurred the wrath of many Nigerian fans for an inexplicable miss.
Ighalo has however continued from where he left off in the Chinese league, scoring in consecutive league games for his club Changchun Yatai in the Chinese Super League in recent weeks. Rohr has therefore stuck with the former Watford forward and many other stars that represented Nigeria at the World Cup in Russia.
The Super Eagles will be without their captain John Mikel Obi who just returned to fitness as well as Victor Moses who has announced his retirement from international football. Right back duo of Tyronne Ebuehi and Abdullahi Shehu also miss out due to injury.
Rohr’s call-up has not been without the surprises though as he has invited little known Nigerians Semi Ajayi and Jamilu Collins in the 24-man team alongside FC Porto B’s Kelechi Nwakali who shone in a holiday match last May.
Bordeaux new signing Samuel Kalu has been rewarded with his first call up, as expected while Henry Onyekuru and Ola Aina have been recalled.
Francis Uzoho (RC Deportivo), Daniel Akpeyi Chippa United), Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba)
Ola Aina (Torino) Bryan Idowu (Locomotiv Moscow) Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto) Leon Balogun (Bright and Hove Albion) William Ekong (Udinese), Collins Jamilu (Padeborn) Semi Ajayi (Rotherham)
Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City) Joel Obi (Chievo Verona) John Ogu (Hapoel Beer’Sheva) Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor) Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) Kelechi Nwakali (FC Porto B)
Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City) Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr) Simy Nwankwo (Crotone) Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai) Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux) Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray)
Stephen Eze, Musa Muhammed, Uche Agbo, Blessing Eleke.