Months after his last appearance for the Super Eagles, Alanyaspor of Turkey defender Kenneth Omeruo and Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi make a return to the national team as Chelsea’s John Mikel Obi tops the list of 23 players invited for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Zambia’s Chipolopolo in Ndola on October 3.
In the list released on Thursday by the Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, the Franco-German tactician retained belief in the squad that piped Tanzania 1-0 in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match in Uyo on September 3, with the inclusion defender Kenneth Omeruo, Belgium –based mid-fielder Anderson Esiti and English Premiership duo Isaac Success and Alex Iwobi.
Skipper Mikel John Obi, assistant skipper Ahmed Musa, goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, defender Elderson Echiejile, mid-fielder Ogenyi Onazi and in –form Manchester City of England forward Kelechi Iheanacho are in the 23 –man roster.
Rohr has excused Watford FC forward Odion Ighalo, who will attend his father’s burial in Nigeria on Saturday, 8th October – eve of the big match at the Levy Nwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
Injured KAA Gent of Belgium striker Moses Simon is listed after assuring Coach Rohr that he has started treatment and would be fully healed well ahead of the encounter.
All invited players are expected to start arriving in Abuja from Sunday, October 2.
The invited players are:
Goalkeepers – Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England); Emmanuel Daniel (Enugu Rangers); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah).
Defenders – Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); William Paul Ekong (Haugesund FC, Norway); Kenneth Omeruo (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Jamiu Alimi (Kano Pillars); Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Musa Muhammed (Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey); Elderson Echiejile (Standard Liege, Belgium), Kingsley Madu (SV Zulte Waregem, Belgium)
Midfielders – Mikel John Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk, Belgium); Nosa Igiebor (Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel); Anderson Esiti (KAA Gent, Belgium)
Forwards – Ahmed Musa (Leicester City, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Isaac Success (Watford FC, England); Brown Ideye (Olympiacos FC, Greece); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England) The Nation