Defender Ibrahim Buhari of Plateau United, goalkeepers OJo Olorunleke of Enyimba, Akwa United’s Adewale Adeyinka and five other home-based players are among 30 players listed, yesterday, by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for Super Eagles’ friendly games against Mexico and Ecuador in the United States on May 28 and June 2 respectively.
The list compiled by Super Eagles’ First Assistant Coach, Salisu Yusuf, also includes Captain Ahmed Musa, Moses Simon, goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, who missed Nigeria’s ill-fated Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifier against Ghana and Cyril Dessers, who last played for Nigeria in 2020.
Nigeria will meet Mexico at the AT & T Stadium in Dallas, Texas, on May 28, before flying to New Jersey to tackle Ecuador at the Red Bull Arena, Harrison, on June 2.
The other home-based players in Yusuf’s team are Enyimba’s Victor Mbaoma, Ishaq Rafiu (Rivers United), Isa Ali (Remo Stars), Chiamaka Madu (Rivers United) and Babatunde Afeez Nosiru (Kwara United).
According to NFF, only 25 players will make the final list for the tour, which is preparatory to next month’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches against Sierra Leone in Abuja on June 9 and São Tomé & Príncipe in Marrakech, Morocco on June 13.
Apart from the newcomers, also in the list are the usual squad members including Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); and Calvin Bassey (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland).
Others are Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Watford FC, England); Azubuike Okechukwu (Yeni Malatyaspor, Turkey); Samson Tijani (Red Bull Salzburg, Austria); and Alhassan Yusuf (Royal Antwerp FC, Belgium).
Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze; Ademola Lookman (Leicester City); Sadiq Umar (UD Almeria, Spain) and Emmanuel Dennis (Watford FC, England) complete the list.