Super Eagles caretaker coach Salisu Yusuf has invited 26 players, including Chesea midfoelder Mikel Obi, Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi, Ahmed Musa of CSKA Moscow, Watford's Odion Ighalo and goalkeeper Carl Ikeme for the forthcoming international friendlies against Mali and Luxembourg in Europe, the Nigeria Football Federation announced on Wednesday.
Brown Ideye of Olympiakos, who has been left out for a long time, is also invited.
Nigeria, three-time African champions, face Mali in France on 27 May before flying to Luxembourg to take on that country’s national team on 1 June.
Yusuf, installed as interim head coach by the Nigeria Football Federation last week, has picked a relatively young squad that also includes former U-20 skipper Musa Muhammed, former U-20 defender Gbenga Arokoyo, former U-23 midfielder Raheem Lawal, one–cap left–back Kingsley Madu and unknown Portugal–based defender Chidozie Awaziem.
Defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Leon Balogun and William Troost Ekong return, while Ogenyi Onazi, Abdullahi Shehu, Elderson Echiejile, Moses Simon, Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi and Aaron Samuel are all in the squad.
Sunshine Stars goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa is the only home-based player in the squad.
ALL THE INVITEES:
Goalkeepers: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Sunshine Stars)
Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Uniao da Madeira, Portugal); Musa Muhammed (Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey); Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco, France); Kingsley Madu (AS Trencin, Slovakia); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa SK, Turkey); Leon Balogun (Mainz 05, Germany); Gbenga Arokoyo (Gaziantepspor, Turkey); William Troost Ekong (Haugesund FC, Norway); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal)
Midfielders: Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England); Wilfred Ndidi KRC Genk, Belgium); Raheem Lawal (Osmanlispor FK, Turkey); Etebo Oghenekaro (SC Farense, Portugal)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (West Ham United, England); Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Aminu Umar (Osmanlispor FK, Turkey); Aaron Samuel (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Brown Ideye (Olympiakos FC, Greece)