Leon Balogun, Abdullahi Shehu, Emmanuel Dennis Withdraw From Eagles’ List

Leon Balogun, Abdullahi Shehu, Emmanuel Dennis Withdraw From Eagles’ List

Nigeria’s preparations for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations were dealt another heavy blow early Friday, as news filtered in that Glasgow Rangers of Scotland defender Leon Aderemi Balogun, Omonia Nicosia of Cyprus defender Abdullahi Shehu and Watford of England striker Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis have all withdrawn from the Super Eagles’ roster.

Megasportsarena.com reports that the withdrawals of Balogun, Shehu and Dennis took to four the number of players that have exited the Super Eagles’ squad list to the impending continental soccer showpiece in Cameroon, as SSC Napoli of Italy striker, Victor Osimhen took the first step on Thursday.

Osimhen was quickly replaced same evening with Olympiakos of Greece attacker, Henry Onyekuru, while Peter Olayinka of Sparta Prague in Czech Republic has now been called up in place of Dennis, with Venezia of Italy full-back, Tyronne Ebuehi replacing Shehu and Balogun’s place taken by Semi Ajayi from West Bromwich Albion of England.

While Dennis’ withdrawal is on account of transingence by his club that the lettter calling him up to the Eagles’ camp came late from Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Osimhen misses out due to a covid-19 infection, while Balogun and Shehu have failed to recover from injuries they copped in action with their respective clubs.

A report by allnigeriasoccer.com added: “Balogun has failed to recover from an undisclosed injury he suffered in a Premier Sports Cup clash against Hibernian on November 21 and as a result West Brom central defender Semi Ajayi has been summoned to join the squad.

“As for Osimhen, he will not lead the Super Eagles attack at the Africa Cup of Nations after testing positive for coronavirus this week and his spot has been taken by Olympiakos winger Henry Onyekuru.

“Shehu, who suffered an injury in Omonia Nicosia’s 4-2 loss to APOEL in the derby on Boxing Day, has been replaced by Benfica-owned fullback Tyronne Ebuehi.

“Six other invitees, namely goalkeepers John Noble and Daniel Akpeyi. Chidera Ejuke, Olisa Ndah, Umar Saiq and Taiwo Awoniyi, have already reported for international duty in Abuja ahead of the Super Eagles’ trip to Cameroon next week.”
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