The leading scorer of the 2017/18 NPFL season, Junior Lokosa, has been included in the Super Eagles 30 man provisional list for the 2018 World Cup to be hosted by Russia.
The Kano Pillars striker has netted 18 goals this season and has been invited for the first time to the Super Eagles. Junior Lokosa is the first player to score 18 goals in the first 21 Matchdays in the NPFL and have featured 20 times for the former Nigerian Champions Kano Pillars. Only three of the 18 goals were from the spot and he has a couple of assists to his name.
Junior Lokosa is joined from the NPFL by Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba Fc) and Dele Ajiboye (Plateau United). Ikechukwu Ezenwa’s spot looks certain for Russia but the duo of Lokosa and Ajiboye will need to prove to Gernot Rohr that they are capable of making the final 23 man list.
There were no rooms for Anthony Okpotu (Lobi Stars) and Gabriel Okechukwu (Akwa United) who headed the Super Eagles attack in CHAN 2018 where they lost 4-0 in the final to finish second.
Crotone FC Striker Simeon “Simy” Nwankwo made the list following recent performance in the Serie A but Everton’s Henry Onyekuru, Al Ahly’s Junior Ajayi and Hapoel Be’er Sheva FC’s Anthony Nwakaeme were not listed.
Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi made the list alongside other regulars like captain John Obi Mikel, Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Moses, Ogenyi Onazi and Ahmed Musa who needed to return to Russia to regain form.
The full list:
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC); Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa); Dele Ajiboye (Plateau United)
Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Tyronne Ebuehi (Ado Den Haag, The Netherlands); Olaoluwa Aina (Hull City, England); Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge KSV, Belgium); Brian Idowu (Amkar Perm, Russia); Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC, France); William Ekong (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey); Stephen Eze (Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Bulgaria)
Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Tianjin Teda, China); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (UD Las Palmas, Spain); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Uche Agbo (Standard Liege, Belgium); Joel Obi (Torino FC, Italy); Mikel Agu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Nwankwo Simeon (Crotone FC, Italy); Junior Lokosa (Kano Pillars)
All invited players have been told to report at the Le Meridien Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo on Monday, 21st May.
Will Lokosa or Simy make the final 23 man list?