12 Stars Missing From Super Eagles Squad as Nigeria Boss Finidi Names Team For World Cup Qualifiers

12 Stars Missing From Super Eagles Squad as Nigeria Boss Finidi Names Team For World Cup Qualifiers

Robert Abong'o
updated at June 3, 2024 at 7:08 AM
In this article:
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  • The NFF has announced the Super Eagles squad for the World Cup qualifiers
  • The roster features a blend of experienced veterans and rising young talents
  • The 2023 AFCON finalists will take on South Africa and the Republic of Benin

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has released the 23-man Super Eagles roster on May 25, ahead of the upcoming 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

The squad features a blend of seasoned veterans and rising young talents as the West African nation aims to secure its place on the global stage.

Newly appointed head coach, Finidi George, was forced to change the squad list due to a number of injury setbacks among those he called up.

Nigeria players ahead of the 2023 AFCON final vs Ivory Coast at the Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium in Ebimpe, Abidjan, on February 11, 2024. Photo by Issouf Sanogo.
Nigerian players pose for a team photo ahead of the 2023 AFCON final against Ivory Coast at the Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium in Ebimpe, Abidjan, on February 11, 2024. Photo by Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

Finidi has summoned this line-up as the West African giants prepare to face formidable opponents in South Africa and the Republic of Benin next month.

He has called up an intriguing mix of players, including Bayer Leverkusen's Victor Boniface, who missed the 2023 AFCON through injury, and AC Milan's Samuel Chukwueze, who has been in fine form for the Italian side this season.

As reported by Soccernet, the in-form Ademola Lookman, who recently helped Atalanta BC win the UEFA Europa League, has also earned a spot on the roster.

Super Eagles squad missing several notable players

The squad announcement has not been devoid of surprises, as several notable players have been left out.

Team captain Ahmed Musa, who missed the recent friendly matches against Ghana and Mali, was again omitted, raising questions about his future with the national team.

AFCON's Most Valuable Player, William Troost-Ekong, has been left out due to an injury sustained during the continental tournament.

Kenneth Omeruo, another experienced defender, has also been overlooked despite his wealth of international experience.

In a statement shared by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on social media, Bayer Leverkusen forward Nathan Tella withdrew for personal reasons. Rizespor attacker Ibrahim Olawoyin was called up as a replacement for the former Burnley forward.

The change to the Super Eagles squad came just days after star forward Victor Osimhen pulled out and was replaced by Enugu Rangers left-back, Kenneth Igoke.

Super Eagles stars unavailable for World Cup qualifiers

  • Ahmed Musa
  • Ola Aina
  • William Troost-Ekong
  • Joe Aribo
  • Kenneth Omeruo
  • Taiwo Awoniyi
  • Bruno Onyemaechi
  • Umar Sadiq
  • Cyriel Dessers
  • Jamilu Collins
  • Nathan Tella
  • Victor Osimhen.

Rangers striker Cyriel Dessers, who impressed during the last international break, has not made the cut, while Joe Aribo's recent form for Southampton has failed to convince the coach.

The decision to exclude Ola Aina, who has been a standout performer for Nottingham Forest, has also raised eyebrows.

The squad's composition has led to some intriguing omissions, including the absence of both Jamilu Collins and Bruno Onyemaechi, leaving Calvin Bassey as the only natural left-footed defender in the group.

On the right flank, Remo Stars' Sodiq Ismael has been called up to fill the void left by Ola Aina's absence.

Per All Africa, the Super Eagles will commence their World Cup qualifying journey on Friday, June 7, as they host South Africa at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.

Next Monday, June 10, they will travel to Abidjan to take on Benin Republic at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny.

Finidi to axe 10 players from squad

Sports Brief also previously reported that Finidi would drop 10 players from the Super Eagles squad to face South Africa and Benin.

The 53-year-old was reported to have submitted a 35-man list to the NFF ahead of the game, which was then trimmed down to just 25.

Bruno Onyemaechi, Moses Simon, Tyrone Ebuehi, and Zaidu Sanusi are injured and will most likely miss the World Cup qualifier games.

Robert Abong'o photo
Robert Abong'o
Editor - Africa Team