Leicester City of England attacker, Kelechi Iheanacho has admitted he is deeply excited with his recall to the Super Eagles, as he believes it is in recognition of the efforts he has put into revamping his game.
After being named in the Eagles’ 23-player list of invitees for next month’s international friendly against Ukraine, Iheanacho said he is happy with another opportunity to play himself back into the squad.
The former Columbus Crew of America and Manchester City of England youngster also confessed that he is relieved with the opportunity to once again don Nigeria’s white-and-green jersey, as he makes a return to the squad for the September 10 friendly in Dnipro, alongside Semi Ajayi of West Bromwich Albion, after they were both dropped from the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations roster.
While Iheanacho, Ebuehi and Ajayi are making returns to the Eagles, maiden calls have gone of to Fortuna Dusseldorf of Germany goalkeeper, Emil Maduka Okoye and Glasgow Rangers of Scotland new signing, Joe Aribo (full names Joseph Oluwaseyi Temitope Ayodele-Aribo), who is already making top marks in The Gers’ midfield during recent domestic and UEFA matches, after arriving from Charlton Athletic last month.
While Aribo will aim to put up a strong impression on his maiden outing with the Nigerian national team, Iheanacho has a task of battling back to relevance with Gernot Rohr’s squad, as they prepare to face Ukraine at Dnipro-Arena on Tuesday, 10th September, with Saudi Arabia-based winger, Ahmed Musa expected to skipper the side.
England-based midfielders, Oghenekaro Etebo, Wilfred Onyinyen Ndidi and Alex Iwobi are also listed, along with goalkeepers Francis Uzoho and Ikechukwu Ezenwa, defenders William Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Leon Balogun and Jamilu Collins, and forwards Victor Osimhen, Moses Simon, Henry Onyekuru and Samuel Chukwueze, but there is no place for South Africa-based shot-stopper, Daniel Akpeyi.
The full list of Rohr’s invitees to battle Ukraine, who are rated 25th by FIFA and Nigeria 33rd, has three goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC); Emil Maduka Okoye (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany).
There are also eight defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino, Italy); Tyronne Ebuehi (Benfica, Portugal); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal); Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England), William Troost-Ekong (Udinese, Italy); Kenneth Omeruo (Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn, Germany); and Leon Aderemi Balogun (Brighton Hove Albion, England).
The invited midfielders are: Alexander Iwobi (Everton, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); and Joe Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland).
Seven forwards also make the 23-player roster: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Lille, France); Moses Simon (Levante, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (AS Monaco, France); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Ebere Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark); and Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal, Spain).