Jose Peseiro, Super Eagles coach, has left out Premier League strikers Kelechi Iheanacho and Taiwo Awoniyi, as well as captain, Ahmed Musa, while he called up inform Victor Osimhen and Paul Onuachu for next Thursday’s friendly against World Cup-bound Portugal at the Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon.
Both Osimhen and Onuachu are the leading scorers in the Italian and the Belgian league respectively.
Peseiro recalled the quartet Onuachu, Tyronne Ebuehi, Oghenekaro Etebo and Joe Aribo while handing debut call-ups to Boavista defender Bruno Onyemaechi and Fenerbahce’s Bright Osayi-Samuel
The Super Eagles have also invited uncapped Bruno Onyemaechi, who is based in Portugal.
Peseiro has noted that the Eagles can only be great when they test themselves against top teams like Portugal.
The Eagles Portuguese coach said the team do not want to take the easier route of playing against inferior opposition so as to win and garner points in the FIFA rankings.
“Playing against my country, the best in the world, who can win the World Cup, is extraordinary,” Peseiro said.
“But is also a great opportunity – when you want to build a national team with great ambitions, you have to do it against top teams.
“The way must be this – if you just want to win, you play against the small teams.
“But if I want to improve my team, I will go through the defeats to improve us going forward.
“How do you motivate the players against the small teams? Only points from the rankings.
“But it is different when you come head-to-head against a top team like Portugal.”
The full squad:
Goalkeepers: Maduka Okoye (Watford FC, England); Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Adebayo Adeleye (Hapoel Jerusalem, Israel)
Defenders: William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olisa Ndah (Orlando Pirates, South Africa); Calvin Bassey (Ajax FC, The Netherlands); Kevin Akpoguma (TSG Hoffenheim, Germany); Chidiebube Duru (Rivers United); Tyronne Ebuehi (Empoli FC, Italy); Bruno Onyemaechi (Boavista FC, Portugal); Bright Osayi Samuel (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey)
Midfielders: Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Southampton FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Aris Thessaloniki, Greece)
Forwards: Moses Simon (Nantes FC, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy); Terem Moffi (Lorient FC, France); Paul Onuachu (Genk FC, Belgium); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Emmanuel Dennis (Nottingham Forest, England).