SUPER Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has handed a debut call-up to Glasgow Rangers leftback Calvin Bassey ahead of Nigeria’s World Cup double header qualification matches against the Central African Republic this October.
On October 7, the Eagles take on Les Fauves or Wild Beasts of the Central African Republic at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos and three days later will play the return leg on October 10 in Douala. To prosecute both games, Mr Rohr has invited 23 players to camp with midfielders Wilfred Ndidi and Oghene Etebo the two big absentees due to injury.
If the Eagles beat Les Fauves both games will all but guarantee their place in the final playoff round will be guaranteed, meaning they have just one more hurdle to scale before qualifying for Qatar 2022. Leading the attack is in-form Napoli striker Victor Osimhen and Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho but Bassey, 21 is the new kid on the block.
Born in England, Bassey is eligible to play for Nigeria through his parents and has already made seven appearances for Steven Gerrard’s Glasgow Rangers this season, providing two assists in the League Cup. His Rangers teammates, Joe Aribo and Leon Balogun, who are among the key players in the team, have also been invited.
Also, Hoffenheim centreback Kevin Akpoguma returns after missing the clash against Liberia and Cape Verde due to a positive coronavirus test. Playmaker Chidera Ejuke, who dazzled like a thousand stars in the last match against Cape Verde keeps his spot in the squad, while captain Ahmed Musa is also retained despite being clearly past his best.
Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Jamilu Collins (SC Paderborn 07, Germany); Abdullahi Shehu (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Calvin Bassey (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Kevin Akpoguma (TSG Hoffenheim, Germany)
Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Innocent Bonke (Malmo FF, Sweden); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia)
Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Samuel Kalu (FC Bordeaux, France); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England)