Nigeria Reveals AFCON 2023 Squad, Eyeing Fourth Trophy

Nigeria Reveals AFCON 2023 Squad, Eyeing Fourth Trophy

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Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro unveiled the final 25-man squad for the upcoming African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast. PUNCH Sports Extra provides an analysis of each player in the squad as Nigeria seeks to secure a fourth AFCON trophy.


  1. Stanley Nwabili (Chippa United): Making his tournament debut, Nwabili, the Chippa United goalkeeper, has shown great form in South Africa’s topflight division, keeping seven clean sheets in 14 games.
  2. Francis Uzoho (Omonia Nicosia): The under-fire Uzoho’s recent form is under scrutiny. The Omonia Nicosia stopper has been inactive this season, playing four times for his club.
  3. Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba): Enyimba’s first choice, Ojo, will contend with Nwabili for the second-choice goalkeeper position. He is the only player from the Nigerian Professional Football League in the squad.

Defenders: 4. Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto): A surprise inclusion, Sanusi recently recovered from a muscle injury. He has one goal in nine appearances for FC Porto this season.

  1. Ola Aina (Nottingham Forest): A fit-again Aina will make his third AFCON appearance, having featured in the last two editions. The right-back has been in good form for Nottingham Forest.
  2. William Troost-Ekong (PAOK): A consistent defender in Europe, Troost-Ekong has played 21 times for PAOK this season, providing one assist.
  3. Bruno Onyemaechi (Boavista): Another AFCON debutant, Onyemaechi has made 12 appearances for Boavista in the Portuguese league this season.
  4. Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce): The undisputed right-back, Osayi-Samuel, has been in excellent form, making 24 appearances for Fenerbahce, scoring two goals and registering four assists.
  5. Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa): With experience on his side, Omeruo is set for his fourth AFCON outing, having been part of the Eagles squad that won in 2013.
  6. Calvin Bassey (Fulham): A mixed season for Bassey, but his performance earned him a spot. It will be his first AFCON appearance.
  7. Semi Ajayi: Often deployed as a center-back, Ajayi is a reliable player with a decent performance record for Nigeria.

Midfielders: 12. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City): One of the most in-form players, Ndidi has excelled for Leicester City, scoring four goals and assisting six in 23 games.

  1. Alex Iwobi (Everton): Settlement into Fulham has been smooth for Iwobi, who has scored three goals and registered one assist in 17 Premier League games.
  2. Joe Aribo (Southampton): Aribo made the final list despite a lack of game time with Southampton. Lately, he has rediscovered his potential, starting all five of the last games.
  3. Frank Onyeka (Brentford, England): A key player for Brentford in the Premier League, Onyeka has made 14 appearances for the Eagles, scoring one goal.
  4. Raphael Onyedika (Club Brugge, Belgium): Onyedika, a versatile midfielder, brings skill and creativity to the squad, making his debut appearance.

Forwards: 17. Victor Osimhen (Napoli, Italy): Set for his second AFCON, Osimhen has scored seven goals in 13 Serie A games this season.

  1. Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany): A debutant in AFCON, Boniface has been in top form for Bayer Leverkusen, scoring 16 goals and providing seven assists.
  2. Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France): Simon, with 60 appearances and nine goals for the Eagles, adds depth and experience to the forward line.
  3. Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy): Lookman, making his AFCON debut, brings versatility and attacking flair with six goals and three assists in 13 Serie A appearances.
  4. Samuel Chukwueze (AC Milan, Italy): Heading to his second AFCON, Chukwueze has scored two goals and provided one assist in 17 appearances for AC Milan.
  5. Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England): In fine form for the Foxes, Iheanacho has six goals and two assists in all competitions this season.
  6. Umar Sadiq (Real Sociedad, Spain): Initially doubted for the squad, Sadiq’s fine form for Real Sociedad earned him a spot. This will be his second AFCON tournament.
  7. Ahmed Musa (Sivasspor, Turkey): Captain Musa’s experience and goal-scoring ability add depth to the forward line, making him the most capped Eagle ever.

The squad is poised to compete for the AFCON title, with a mix of experience and emerging talents aiming for success in Ivory Coast.

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