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Sierra Leone vs Super Eagles: Peseiro invites Musa, Osimhen, NPFL stars, snubs Orban

SUPER Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro has included captain Ahmed Musa, Napoli striker Victor Osimhen and several Nigeria Premier Football League stars for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying clash against Sierra Leone.

The Group A AFCON qualifier is billed for June 18 at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium in Monrovia, Liberia since Sierra Leone does not have any stadium in their country approved for international matches.

Peseiro also included regular players like Alex Iwobi, Moses Simon, William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Calvin Bassey and Wilfred Ndidi in the 23-man squad.

With Francis Uzoho unavailable due to suspension, the three invited goalkeepers are Adebayo Adeleye of Hapoel Jerusalem in Israel as well as NPFL pair Victor Sochima of Rivers United and Olorunleke Ojo of Enyimba.

The other NPFL players in the squad are Bendel Insurance midfielder Divine Nwachukwu and Rivers United defender Ebube Duru.

Musa’s inclusion is baffling, with the 30-year-old not registering any goal or assist in 27 appearances for Turkey’s Sivasspor in all competitions this season.

The Super Eagles captain was in the starting line-up in only six of the 27 matches he played in the Turkish Super Lig, the Turkish Cup and the UEFA Europa Conference League, logging a measly 671 minutes all season.

In contrast, several of the other forwards in the squad have had impressive campaigns, led by Osimhen who helped Napoli win their first Serie A title in 33 years and became the first African player to finish an Italian top flight season as the top scorer with his 26 goals.

Samuel Chukwueze was voted the best African player in La Liga, while Ademola Lookman was Atalanta’s best player of the season.

Meanwhile, Gift Orban, the 20-year-old forward who has scored 20 goals in 22 appearances for Gent since joining them in January, was not included in the squad.

The Super Eagles are top of their qualification group with nine points from four matches, followed by Guinea Bissau who have seven points.

The Leone Stars, who lost 2-1 to Nigeria in the reverse fixture, are on five points. Sao Tome and Principe, who play the Super Eagles on the final day of the series in September, are bottom with only one point.

INVITED SUPER EAGLES PLAYERS:

Goalkeepers:
Adebayo Adeleye (Hapoel Jerusalem, Israel); Victor Sochima (Rivers United); Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba FC)

Defenders:
William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Calvin Bassey (Ajax FC, The Netherlands); Kevin Akpoguma (TSG Hoffenheim, Germany); Chidiebube Duru (Rivers United); Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey)

Midfielders:
Joe Aribo (Southampton FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Divine Nwachukwu (Bendel Insurance); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England)

Forwards:
Moses Simon (Nantes FC, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Ahmed Musa (Sivasspor K, Turkey).

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