- Super Eagles coach Peseiro calls up Gent’s Gift Orban, Jordan Torunarigha, and Leverkusen’s Victor Boniface for their first international duty
- Notable absentees include Chuba Akpom, with only one home-based player, Olorunleke Ojo, from Enyimba FC, on the roster
Ahead of their final 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against So Tomé and Principe on Sunday, September 10, Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro has given Gent duo Gift Orban and Jordan Torunarigha, as well as Bundesliga newcomer Victor Boniface their first international call-up.
Nigeria will face the Falcons and True Parrots on Sunday in an AFCON qualifier at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja.
Orban has had a strong start to the season, scoring six goals in nine appearances for his Belgian club, Gent, while his club teammate Torunarigha, who plays as a centre-back, has also been in good form, scoring a goal and registering an assist in ten games.
Boniface also had a successful season with his new club, Bayer Leverkusen, after joining from Royale Union Saint-Gilloise in the summer.
The striker has five goals and two assists in four games this season.
While the trio had received their first call-up for Nigeria, Peseiro, in a list released by the Nigeria Football Federation’s media team on Sunday, surprisingly did not invite Chuba Akpom to the AFCON qualifier.
The Portuguese tactician also calls up left-back Bruno Onyemaechi and defensive midfielder Raphael Onyedika, who are based in Portugal.
Despite the game’s insignificance, there was only one spot for home-based players on the 63-year-old list.
Olorunleke Ojo, Enyimba FC’s Nigeria Professional Football League champion goalkeeper, was the only home-based player invited to the game.
Victor Osimhen is at the top of the list of invited players, having scored 31 goals in all competitions for Napoli last season, helping the Italian giants win their first Italian Serie A title in 33 years while also reaching the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
Those called up for the game are defender William Troost-Ekong, midfielder Alex Iwobi, and forward Samuel Chukwueze.
Defenders Ola Aina, Tyronne Ebuehi, Calvin Bassey, Semi Ajayi, and Jamilu Collins were also named to the 23-man roster, as were midfielders Wilfred Ndidi and Frank Onyeka and forwards Taiwo Awoniyi and Kelechi Iheanacho.
The Eagles, who lead their qualification group with 12 points, won the last meeting between the two teams 10-0 on June 13, 2022, at Morocco’s Adrar Stadium.