Completesportsnigeria. com’s ADEBOYE AMOSU profiles the five new players in Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr’s list of invited players for the September 7 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Seychelles in Victoria.
JAMILU COLLINS (Left-Back, SC Paderborn Germany)
The Kaduna-born defender is one of the surprises if not shocking inclusion in the Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr’s 24-man list for the game against Seychelles.
For the records, the tall left-back was part of Nigeria’s U-20 side, the Flying Eagles in 2013, but was dropped from the World Cup squad.
He was part of the team that featured in the Toulon Youth Tournament prior to the World Cup.
Despite tough spell with Croatian club, HNK Rijeka where he was sent out on loan several times, he seems to have gotten his career back on track with German Second Division club, SC Paderborn.
His marriage to a Croatian lady helped him gained Croatian citizenship which also facilitated his move to Paderbon in 2017 who at the time were playing in the German third division as none European Union players are not permitted to play in the third division in Germany.
After helping Paderborn secure promotion last season, the 24-year-old has kept his place in the team and has featured in three games for them this season, two in the league and one in the DFB Pokal.
SEMI AJAYI (Centre-Back, Rotherdam United England)
Semi Ajayi, whose full name is Oluwasemilogo Adesewo Ibidapo Ajayi has been capped thrice at the U-20 level by Nigeria.
The towering centre-back once had stint with English Premier League giants, Arsenal and has featured for a number of clubs in the lower cadre in English football.
He is now one of the key players with English Championship club, Rotherham United where he has played in all their four games this season.
SAMUEL KALU (Winger, Girondis Bordeaux France)
A more popular figure compared to the duo of Jamilu Collins and Semi Ajayi, the winger joined French side, Bordeaux from KAA Gent of Belgium in a highly celebrated move this summer.
He was seen as the perfect replacement for Brazilian winger, Malcolm who dumped Bordeaux for La Liga giants, FC Barcelona.
Kalu, made 32 league appearances for Gent last season and scored seven goals.
The 20-year-old has featured just twice for Bordeaux twice since linking up with the club, one in the French Ligue 1 and the other in the UEFA Europa League.
He now has the chance to hone his skills under former France international, Thierry Henry who is set to take over as the new Bordeaux manager.
KELECHI NWAKALI (Midfielder, FC Porto Portugal)
A popular figure who needs little or no introduction. Kelechi Nwakali captained the Nigeria U-17 side to win the FIFA U-17 World Cup title in 2015, and has remained in the consciousness of the country’s soccer fans ever since.
He impressed for the Super Eagles Team B in a friendly against Spanish club, Atletico Madrid in May where he scored a breathtaking goal.
Still with no chance of forcing his way into first team reckoning at Arsenal, the talented midfielder moved to FC Porto of Portugal on loan earlier in the summer.
BLESSING ELEKE (Forward, FC Luzern Switzerland)
The forward has worked hard to gain international recognition since arriving in Europe as a youngster in 2014 with Slovenian club, Gorica.
The 22-year-old joined Luzern of Switzerland from Ashdod of Isreal this summer and has scored once in four appearances for the club.
He is one of the four players on stand-by for the game against Seychelles.