Nigeria calls up 18-year-old Deportivo’s goalkeeper for Algeria, Argentina

Pius Ayinor

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has called up Deportivo La Coruna’s goalkeeper Francis Uzoho for his first cap as the manager seeks a permanent solution to the goalkeeping department in the absence of former captain Vincent Enyeama and Carl Ikeme, Extrasportsnigeria.com reports. Uzoho and 23 other players have been invited to camp ahead of the World Cup 2018 qualifier and the international friendly against Algeria and Argentina respectively.

Nigeria will play Algeria in Algiers next week and Argentina on November 14th in Russia.

Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi, Ahmed Musa and midfielder Ogenyi Onazi expectedly lead the pack. The others goalkeepers Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi; defenders Abdullahi Shehu, Leon Balogun and William Ekong; midfielders Wilfred Ndidi and Oghenekaro Etebo and forwards Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi and Odion Ighalo.

Uzoho is not the only player enjoying his first cap. Former U17 World Cup winner Chidiebere Nwakali will arrive in Morocco for the camp in his first national assignment.

Victor Moses of Chelsea has been left out on account of injury and Elderson Echiejile was not called up.

The 2013 AFCON winner Kenneth Omeruo is on standby for both matches, alongside former junior international Alhassan Ibrahim, who now plays in Austria as well as Russia-based Brian Idowu.

All invited players are expected to arrive in a camp in Morocco on Monday, 6th November, before the delegation flies to Constantine on Thursday, 9th November.

On Saturday, November 11th, a 45-seater chartered aircraft will fly the Super Eagles from Constantine to Krasnodar, the Russian city that will host the international friendly against Argentina on Tuesday, 14th November.

FULL LIST

Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah); Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain)

Defenders: William Ekong (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag, The Netherlands); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Uche Agbo (Standard Liege, Belgium); Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC, France); Olaoluwa Aina (Hull City, England)

Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Tianjin Teda, China); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (CD Feirense, Portugal); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Mikel Agu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidiebere Nwakali (Sogndal FC, Norway)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester City, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Odion Ighalo (Chang Chun-Yatai, China); Henry Onyekuru (RSC Anderlecht, Belgium); Anthony Nwakaeme (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)

STANDBY: Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey); Alhassan Ibrahim (FK Austria Wien, Austria); Brian Idowu (FC Amkar Perm, Russia)