Semi Ajayi, Tyronne Ebuehi, Peter Olayinka Join Nigeria’s AFCON Roster

Semi Ajayi, Tyronne Ebuehi, Peter Olayinka Join Nigeria’s AFCON Roster

West Bromwich Albion of England defender, Semi Ajayi is on course for his first appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations, following his late inclusion in Nigeria’s squad list, in which he will be joined by Venezia of Italy right-back, Tyronne Ebuehi and Sparta Prague of Czech Republic striker, Peter Olayinka.

Ajayi was dropped from the last squad, despite being in top form then with Rotherham United, who he could not help escape relegation to the third-tier English League One, but he quickly gained a transfer to West Brom in the English Championship.

e360hubs.com reports that the product of Arsenal’s Hale End Academy continues being in top form with Albion, such that many eyebrows were raised in the first place with his absence from the original roster named by Eagles’ interim coach, Augustine Eguavoen.

Justification now appears to have come for the versatile player, who also knocks home goals regularly for The Baggies, before which he previously starred for Charlton Athletic, Dartford, Cardiff City, AFC Wimbledon and Crewe Alexandra.

The former Flying Eagles’ invitee, who first joined the under-20 squad for their outing at the 2013 Toulon Tournament, will now aim for his AFCON debut, in similar fashion with the other two late invitees, Olayinka and Ebuehi.

Ajayi made his Nigeria U20 debut on 4 June 2013, in a 1–1 draw against Belgium U21, then got two further appearances in the tournament against Portugal and Brazil.

He received his first call up to the senior team in August 2018 for 2019 AFCON qualifiers and got his debut against Seychelles, when he went on for injured Chidozie Awaziem in the 73rd minute, but he was dropped for the tournament proper in Egypt.

Ajayi, Ebuehi and Olayinka have now gained entry in the Eagles’ 28-player roster due to the withdrawals of Abdullahi Shehu, Leon Aderemi Balogun and Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis, with the first of the trio pulling out due to injury, while the latter has been stopped by his club, Watford of England.

The additions come 24 hours after Olympiakos of Greece forward, Henry Onyekuru had been called up to replace SSC Napoli of Italy striker, Victor Osimhen, who had been in doubt all along due to a face injury he copped in Italian Serie A action for his club, then reportedly contracted covid-19 during his 23rd birthday in Lagos on Wednesday.

Osimhen is now in isolation while Balogun and Abdullahi are yet to recover fully from injuries they copped in action with their respective clubs, but Watford complained that Dennis’ call-up for the upcoming AFCON arrived late from Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

It means two new strikers and same number of defenders have been added to the Eagles’ squad for the continental soccer showpiece, where the Nigerians will try to win a fourth AFCON title.

The three-time champions, who are paired against Egypt, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau in Group D, will begin their campaign against The Pharaohs at Roumde Adjia Stadium on January 11.West Bromwich Albion of England defender, Semi Ajayi is on course for his first appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations, following his late inclusion in Nigeria’s squad list, in which he will be joined by Venezia of Italy right-back, Tyronne Ebuehi and Sparta Prague of Czech Republic striker, Peter Olayinka.

Ajayi was dropped from the last squad, despite being in top form then with Rotherham United, who he could not help escape relegation to the third-tier English League One, but he quickly gained a transfer to West Brom in the English Championship.

Megasportsarena.com reports that the product of Arsenal’s Hale End Academy continues being in top form with Albion, such that many eyebrows were raised in the first place with his absence from the original roster named by Eagles’ interim coach, Augustine Eguavoen.

Justification now appears to have come for the versatile player, who also knocks home goals regularly for The Baggies, before which he previously starred for Charlton Athletic, Dartford, Cardiff City, AFC Wimbledon and Crewe Alexandra.

The former Flying Eagles’ invitee, who first joined the under-20 squad for their outing at the 2013 Toulon Tournament, will now aim for his AFCON debut, in similar fashion with the other two late invitees, Olayinka and Ebuehi.

Ajayi made his Nigeria U20 debut on 4 June 2013, in a 1–1 draw against Belgium U21, then got two further appearances in the tournament against Portugal and Brazil.

He received his first call up to the senior team in August 2018 for 2019 AFCON qualifiers and got his debut against Seychelles, when he went on for injured Chidozie Awaziem in the 73rd minute, but he was dropped for the tournament proper in Egypt.

Ajayi, Ebuehi and Olayinka have now gained entry in the Eagles’ 28-player roster due to the withdrawals of Abdullahi Shehu, Leon Aderemi Balogun and Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis, with the first of the trio pulling out due to injury, while the latter has been stopped by his club, Watford of England.

The additions come 24 hours after Olympiakos of Greece forward, Henry Onyekuru had been called up to replace SSC Napoli of Italy striker, Victor Osimhen, who had been in doubt all along due to a face injury he copped in Italian Serie A action for his club, then reportedly contracted covid-19 during his 23rd birthday in Lagos on Wednesday.

Osimhen is now in isolation while Balogun and Abdullahi are yet to recover fully from injuries they copped in action with their respective clubs, but Watford complained that Dennis’ call-up for the upcoming AFCON arrived late from Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

It means two new strikers and same number of defenders have been added to the Eagles’ squad for the continental soccer showpiece, where the Nigerians will try to win a fourth AFCON title.

The three-time champions, who are paired against Egypt, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau in Group D, will begin their campaign against The Pharaohs at Roumde Adjia Stadium on January 11.
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