The Nigeria Football Federation has released a 30-man preliminary squad for the 2018 World Cup.
There are a number of surprises in the list with Kano Pillars’s Junior Lokosa and Crotone’s Simeon Nwankwo making it while Brown Ideye misses the cut.
Lokosa has been in terrific form in the Nigeria Professional Football League scoring 18 goals in 20 matches – including a brace against Katsina United on Sunday.
26-year-old Nwankwo gets his maiden international call-up thanks to his fine form in the Italian topflight where he has scored six goals in his last seven outings.
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has stuck with the quartet of Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Dele Ajiboye, Daniel Akpeyi and youngster Francis Uzoho in the goalkeeping department, while regulars such as John Obi Mikel, Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo and Ogenyi Onazi have also been included.
Defensive pair William Troost-Ekong and Leon Balogun, as well as Leicester City’s duo of Wilfried Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho have been called up.
— The NFF 🇳🇬 (@thenff) May 14, 2018
Other fringe players to miss out on the list are Dele Alampasu, Anthony Nwakaeme, Henry Onyekuru, Victor Osimhen and Kayode Olanrewaju.
The Eagles begin their 2018 Fifa World Cup campaign against Croatia on June 16 at the Kaliningrad Stadium before facing Iceland (June 22) and Argentina (June 26) in Volgograd and Saint Petersburg respectively.
The Complete Squad
GOALKEEPERS: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba) Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United) Francis Uzoho (Deportivo de La Coruna) Dele Ajiboye (Plateau United)
DEFENDERS: William Troost-Ekong (Bursaspor) Leon Balogun (Mainz 05) Olaoluwa Aina (Chelsea) Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa) Bryan Idowu (Amkar Perm) Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes) Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor) Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge) Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag) Stephen Eze (Lokomotiv Plovdiv)
MIDFIELDERS: John Obi Mikel (Tianjin Teda) Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor) John Ogu (Hapoel Beer Sheva) Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) Uche Agbo (Standard Liege) Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas) Joel Obi (Torino) Mikel Agu (Bursaspor)
FORWARDS:Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai) Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow) Victor Moses (Chelsea) Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City) Moses Simon (Gent) Junior Lokosa (Kano Pillars) Simeon Nwankwo (Crotone)