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NFF replaces Osimhen, Balogun, Dennis, Shehu in Eagles squad

By Gowon Akpodonor
01 January 2022   |   3:30 am
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has invited three players to replace Napoli star, Victor Osimhen, Cyprus –based Abdullahi Shehu and Watford attacker, Emmanuel Dennis in the Super Eagles squad...

[FILES] Emmanuel Dennis celebrates after scoring Watford’s first goal during the Premier League match between Watford and Chelsea at Vicarage Road on December 01, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Onyekuru, Ebuehi, Ajayi, Olayinka Set For AFCON

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has invited three players to replace Napoli star, Victor Osimhen, Cyprus –based Abdullahi Shehu and Watford attacker, Emmanuel Dennis in the Super Eagles squad to the 33rd Africa Cup of Nations, which begins in Cameroon next weekend.

Lively Osimhen’s positive test to the coronavirus pandemic a couple of days ago, and injury to the versatile Shehu forced the NFF to effect the changes to the Super Eagles final 28-man list.

The goalkeeping department is untouched, but the forced exclusion of Cyprus –based Shehu, who can slot easily into sections of the defence and midfield, has made way for hard-as-nails right back Tyrone Ebuehi, now with Venezia in the Italian Serie A, and England –based Oluwasemilogo Ajayi returns to the group for Africa’s flagship football championship following injury to centre-back Leon Balogun. Ajayi can also play as a midfielder.

Osimhen’s absence paves way for Greece-based Henry Onyekuru, who was also at the last finals in Egypt. In-form rapid raider Emmanuel Dennis, whose English Premiership club is baring fangs, has been excused to provide room for Czech Republic–based forward Peter Olayinka.

The 33rd Africa Cup of Nations finals will end on 6th February.

Super Eagles’ Squad For 33rd AFCON In Cameroon
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); John Noble (Enyimba FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Tyrone Ebuehi (Venezia FC, Italy); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Olisa Ndah (Orlando Pirates, South Africa).

Midfielders: Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Galsgow Rangers, Scotland); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Kelechi Nwakali (SD Huesca, Spain)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Olympiacos FC, Greece); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Sadiq Umar (UD Almeria, Spain); Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin, Germany); Odion Jude Ighalo (Al-Shabab Riyadh, Saudi Arabia); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Peter Olayinka (SK Slavia Praha, Czech Republic).