GLASGOW Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo is the surprise package in the list of 23 players Super eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has invited to camp to prosecute the September 10 friendly game against Ukraine in the southern city of Dnipro.
During the next Fifa window in September, Nigeria and Ukraine will be meeting for the first time ever at senior level. Both teams are planning to use the game to help select their squads ahead of continental championships and to view players as the 2020 World Cup qualifiers are about to begin.
Aribo, 23 who moved to Ibrox this summer on a free transfer from Charlton Athletic after refusing a new contract in England, has settled in quickly at the Premiership side, making an instant impact in the league and in the Europa League qualifiers, scoring three goals in his first seven games. He is now a huge favourite with the Glasgow Rangers fans and is expected to have a very promising career ahead of him.
This afternoon, Mr Rohr released the names of the 23 players he called up for the Ukraine game, with Atibo and Fortuna Dusseldorf teenage goalkeeper Maduka Okoye being the two debutants in the squad. Atibo, a powerful central midfielder, has been brought in for skipper Mikel Obi, who has retired from international football, while Okoye replaces Daniel Akpeyi.
Other than that, Coach Rohr has by and large stuck with his regulars including the likes of William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo and Chigozie Awaziem in central defence. There are only two slight changes in the squad that featured in the African Cup of Nations as rightback Tyronne Ebuehi returns from injury and Semi Ajayi is recalled.
Apart from this, the team is by and large predictable, containing the likes of Ola Aina, Jamiu Collins, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghene Etebo, Alex Iwobi, Samuel Chukwueze, Ahmed Musa, Victor Osimhen and Paul Onuachu. Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho also gets a recall, while Samuel Kalu and Moses Simon also keep their place in the squad.