Super Eagles Head Coach, Jose Peseiro, has unveiled his squad for Nigeria’s upcoming clash against São Tomé and Príncipe in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. In a surprising move, Peseiro has extended his first international call-up to three promising talents: Gift Orban and Jordan Torunarigha from Gent and Victor Boniface from Bayer Leverkusen.
Nigeria is set to face São Tomé and Príncipe in a crucial match-day six fixture at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja on Sunday, September 10th.
Gift Orban has made a significant impact at the start of the season, impressively scoring six goals in just nine appearances for his Belgian club, Gent. His teammate, Jordan Torunarigha, a center-back, has also been in fine form, contributing with a goal and an assist in 10 games.
Victor Boniface, the Bundesliga’s new sensation, has been lighting up the league since his summer transfer from Royale Union Saint-Gilloise. The striker has notched up five goals in just four games and provided two crucial assists.
In a notable omission, Chuba Akpom was once again left out of the squad for the AFCON qualifier. However, Peseiro did recall Portugal-based left-back Bruno Onyemaechi and defensive midfielder Raphael Onyedika to strengthen the squad.
Despite the game’s inconsequential nature, only one spot was allocated to home-based players on the 63-year-old coach’s list. Olorunleke Ojo, goalkeeper of the Nigeria Professional Football League champions, Enyimba FC, was the sole home-based player called up for the encounter.
Leading the list of invited players is Victor Osimhen, whose outstanding performance last season, with 31 goals in all competitions for Napoli, played a pivotal role in the Italian giants clinching their first Serie A title in 33 years. Osimhen also helped Napoli reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
Other notable names on the roster include defender William Troost-Ekong, midfielder Alex Iwobi, and forward Samuel Chukwueze. Peseiro also included defenders Ola Aina, Tyronne Ebuehi, Calvin Bassey, Semi Ajayi, and Jamilu Collins, while midfielders Wilfred Ndidi and Frank Onyeka, along with forwards Taiwo Awoniyi and Kelechi Iheanacho, round out the 23-man squad.
The Super Eagles currently lead their qualification group with 12 points, having dominated the previous encounter against São Tomé and Príncipe with a resounding 10-0 victory at the Adrar Stadium in Morocco on June 13, 2022.