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Sports News of Wednesday, 10 March 2021


5 talking points from the Super Eagles squad for Benin and Lesotho games

The Super Eagles of Nigeria The Super Eagles of Nigeria

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, released Gernot Rohr's list for Super Eagles' upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.
Nigeria will play Benin Republic away and Lesotho at home, and for the games, Rohr called up 24 players.

These are the major talking points from the squad.

1. Ahmed Musa's inclusion
Despite not having a club since October 2016, Ahmed Musa was included in the squad.

His inclusion in the squad has generated the most conversation from the Super Eagles list.

Rohr has clarified his decision, stating that Musa's inclusion was an honorary one.

"It's important to clarify that Musa is not in the competitive list of 23 players for our game against Benin and Lesotho," Rohr told BBC Sport Africa.

"We've invited Musa as the captain by making him the 24th player, but he is not as part of the 23 on the list that will play our two matches.

"What is important now is to focus on the games ahead and not to be distracted by anything else. We hope for all our prayers to be fit and travel down safely for the matches."

2. Rohr ignores Paul Onuachu
Despite being the highest-scoring Nigerian player, Genk striker Paul Onuachu was not included in the squad; instead, he was placed on a standby list.

The 26-year-old currently has 25 goals in 29 league games in the Belgian Pro-League, but the striker will make do with just the standby list.

Onuachu and Rohr do not have a good history together. Apart from his debut when he scored in the first minute and terrorised the Egyptian defence in a friendly match in March 2019, the lanky striker has been underwhelming in national colours.

Rohr has also admitted that the striker does not fit with his style of play.

3. Uzoho is back
For the first time since he sustained a big injury in the friendly against Brazil in October 2019, Francis Uzoho is back with the Super Eagles.

It took Uzoho about a year to recover, and he played his first game in early January since that game in 2019.

He is not expected to play as Sparta Rotterdam goalkeeper Maduka Okoye now the number one goalkeeper.

Okoye has kept goal in Super Eagles' last four games and seems now undroppable due to his form with Sparta Rotterdam in the Eredivisie.

3. Sadiq gets debut call-up
It's been a long time coming for Sadiq Umar. It has taken him five years to get to the national team after he impressed in Nigeria's U-23 run to a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

After that tournament, he experienced many lows before the highs, which have led him to this call-up.

Now with Spanish second-tier side Almeria where he has scored 14 goals to aid their thriving promotion push.

4. Ndidi is back
Wilfred Ndidi has not played for the Super Eagles for more than a year. Ndidi last featured for the Super Eagles in a 4-2 win away at Lesotho. With no football action in almost the whole of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ndidi missed Nigeria's four games in October and November 2021.

Now fully recovered and fit, the top-performing midfielder is back and is expected to play, barring another injury.

5. Terem Moffi in contention
Following his decent season with Lorient in Ligue 1, the 21-year-old striker is now in contention for a call-up.

Moffi has managed eight goals for Lorient this season and has been rewarded with a place on the standby-list.