Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has recalled Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho and also given a debut call up to Belgian-born striker Cyriel Dessers for the doubleheader against Sierra Leone in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.
Nigeria will host Sierra Leone on Friday, March 27, 2020, in Asaba and travel for the return fixture four days later.
For the game, Rohr has recalled Iheanacho who has been in and out of the squad since he was dropped from the AFCON 2019 squad.
The 23-year-old is now back after his resurgence with the Foxes. Since December 2019, the forward has been a regular for Brendan Rodgers’ side and has scored some important goals.
Also in the squad is Belgian-born Dessers who is currently the highest goalscorer in the Dutch Eredivisie where he plays for Heracles Almelo.
Born in Belgium to a Belgian father and Nigerian mother, the 25-year-old acquired his Nigerian passport to be available for selection. He will follow in the footstep of the likes of Ola Aina, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Joe Aribo and Tyronne Ebeuhi as players who were born in foreign countries but later got their Nigerian passport to be eligible to play for Nigeria.
There are regulars in Rohr’s 24-man squad including captain Ahmed Musa, his vice, Troost-Ekong and others including Iwobi, Wilfred Ndidi, Aribo, Victor Osimhen etc.
Germany –based defender Kingsley Ehizibue who plays for FC Koln is another first-timer in the squad.
The Super Eagles are the leaders in Group L of the AFCON 2021 qualifiers after two consecutive wins over Republic of Benin and Lesotho.
Victories in the doubleheader will guarantee Nigeria a spot at the 33rd AFCON scheduled for Cameroon in 2021.
All invited players are to report in the Delta State capital on Monday, March 23.
Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC); Maduka Okoye (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany)
Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Wigan Athletic, England); Chidozie Awaziem (CD Leganes, Spain); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Kingsley Ehizibue (FC Koln, Germany)
Midfielders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Etebo Oghenekaro (Getafe FC, Spain); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Ramon Azeez (Granada FC, Spain)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Alexander Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Victor Osimhen (Lille OSC, France); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Cyril Dessers (Heracles Almelo, The Netherlands); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France)