Int’l friendly: Leon Balogun dropped for Brazil clash

Int’l friendly: Leon Balogun dropped for Brazil clash

Ahead of Nigeria’s match against Brazil, Super Eagles defender, Leon Balogun, may have lost his place in the team, aclsports.com reports.

Balogun’s name was notably absent from the list of 23 players invited by Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr for the international friendly against Brazil next month.

The absence of the 31-year-old may be related to his to an injury as he is currently sidelined at English Premier League club, Brighton and Hove Albion.

The member of the now broke ‘Oyinbo Wall’ has also struggled for game time since joining the Seagulls as a free agent, and is yet to feature for them at all in the PL this season.

Another notable name missing from the 23-man list is Kelechi Iheanacho, while former U-20 captain and 2014 World Cup star, Ramon Azeez, is rewarded for his LaLiga form this season with a recall to the team.

Meanwhile, the 23-man squad revealed by the NFF on Thursday is led by the usual suspects, the likes of Samuel Chukwueze, Alex Iwobi, Ola Aina, and Paul Onuachu.

Also in the team are the trio of Kenneth Omeruo, Chidozie Awaziem and Shehu Abdullahi, who return to the team having missed the 2-2 draw against Ukraine earlier this month due to injuries.

Other players who faced Ukraine but won’t be rejoining the Eagles in Singapore are the duo of Josh Maja, whose place has been taken by Peter Olayinka, who earns his first callup after his impressive performance against Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League.

Defender Bryan Idowu also misses out while young goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye gets another chance to impress Super Eagles coaches.

Stand-in captain, Ahmed Musa remains out due to a persistent injury.

Nigeria and Brazil will be meeting for just the second time ever, with the first clash in 2003 when Brazil was comfortable 0-3 winners at the opening of the then New Abuja stadium.

The highly anticipated match will take place on October 13, three days after the Samba Boys have faced Nigeria’s West African neighbours and 2019 AFCON finalists, Senegal.

Full Squad
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Omonia FC, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC); Emil Maduka Okoye (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany)

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (CD Leganes, Spain); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England)

Midfielders: Alexander Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Anderson Esiti (PAOK Salonica, Greece); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Ramon Azeez (Granada FC, Spain)

Forwards: Victor Osimhen (Lille OSC, France); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium); Emmanuel Dennis (Club Brugge, Belgium); Peter Olayinka (SK Slavia Prague, Czech Republic)

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