ABUJA – Nigeria has named a final 23-man squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, with captain John Obi Mikel leading the pack in Egypt.
Obi, Ahmed Musa and Kenneth Omeruo are the only survivors from the team that won the 2013 tournament in South Africa.
Three-time African champions Nigeria have failed to qualify for the last two tournaments and so 20 of the players on the squad to Egypt will be making their first appearances in the competition.
Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho and Rotherham United midfielder Semi Ajayi were the two players dropped by coach Gernot Rohr from a 25-man provisional squad.
UD Levante winger Moses Simon and Chelsea defender Ola Aina were picked for the Africa Cup after they missed the cut to last year’s World Cup in Russia.
The squad has opened a training camp in Ismailia and will play a final warm-up game against Senegal on Sunday, after they played out a goalless draw with Zimbabwe on Saturday in the southern Nigerian town of Asaba.
They open their Nations Cup quest on June 22 against debutants Burundi in the port city of Alexandra.
Guinea and Madagascar are the other teams in their group.
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta/CYP), Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United), Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs/RSA)
Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino/ITA), Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor/TUR), Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor/TUR), William Ekong (Udinese/ITA), Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion/ENG), Kenneth Omeruo (Leganes/ESP), Jamilu Collins (SC Paderborn 07/GER)
Midfielders: John Obi Mikel (Middlesbrough/ENG), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City/ENG), Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City/ENG), John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva/ISR)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nasser/KSA), Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi/BEL), Moses Simon (Levante/ESP), Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray/TUR), Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua/CHN), Alexander Iwobi (Arsenal/ENG), Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux/FRA), Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland/DEN), Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal/ESP)AFP