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Super Eagles AFCON 2022 Squad – Full List

Augustine Eguavoen has named his final 28-man Nigeria roster for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, which includes notable players such as Victor Osimhen, Odion Ighalo, and Alex Iwobi. Along with Francis Uzoho and Torino’s Ola Aina, Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze, captain Ahmed Musa, and the combo of William Troost-Ekong and Leon Balogun made the cut. 

Kelechi Nwakali, Sadiq Umar of Spain, and Orlando Pirates’ Olisa Ndah are all surprise inclusions, but Eguavoen chose only one local professional — John Noble of Enyimba, the two-time African champions. 

The Super Eagles are making their 19th appearance at the African Cup of Nations, having debuted in Ghana in 1963 – where they were eliminated in the group round. They have won the African championship three times; Nigeria 1980, Tunisia 1994 and South Africa 2013. Their most recent appearance was at the Egypt 2019 edition, where they finished third. 

They have been assigned to Group D alongside Egypt, Guinea Bissau, and Sudan for Cameroon 2021. The Super Eagles will face the Pharaohs on January 11 at Garoua’s Roumde Adjia Stadium. Four days later, they will test their mettle against the Falcons of Jediane before facing the Djurtus in Garoua on January 19. 

The former Nigeria captain, Eguavoen, took over from German Gernot Rohr, who was relieved of his duties after five years. All invited players are anticipated to go to camp in Abuja on 29th December, with those based in the United Kingdom expected to report on Monday, January 3. Below is a full list of all players for the AFCON competition in January 2022. 

Goal Keepers 

  • Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus)
  • John Noble (Enyimba FC)
  • Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa)
  • Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)


  • Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey)
  • Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain)
  • Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland)
  • William Ekong (Watford FC, England)
  • Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy)
  • Jamilu Collins (SC Paderborn 07, Germany)
  • Abdullahi Shehu (AC Omonia, Cyprus)
  • Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal)
  • Olisa Ndah (Orlando Pirates, South Africa)


  • Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England)
  • Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland)
  • Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England)
  • Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia)
  • Kelechi Nwakali (SD Huesca, Spain)


  • Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey)
  • Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain)
  • Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy)
  • Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France)
  • Sadiq Umar (UD Almeria, Spain)
  • Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin, Germany)
  • Odion Jude Ighalo (Al-Shabab Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
  • Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England)
  • Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England)
  • Emmanuel Dennis (Watford FC, England)

Review of the Squad 

Apart from the fact that Victor Osimhen will compete wearing a safety mask, the inclusion of the in-form trio of Emmanuel Dennis, Taiwo Awoniyi, and Sadiq Umar was surely eye-catching. While some may argue that their lack of experience at this level will work against them, Eguavoen and his staff will place their faith in the frontmen who have scored a combined 24 goals in league football thus far in 2021/22. 

This may seem contradictory, but there is a sense that the squad’s imbalance could produce problems in the middle of the park. With ten forwards and nine defenders in the attack, having only five midfielders poses obvious concerns. A closer examination of the bodies at that position reveals Chidera Ejuke’s selection, despite the fact that he is unlikely to play in that position during the finals. 

Indeed, the Super Eagles have only four genuine midfield alternatives — Wilfred Ndidi, Frank Onyeka, Joe Aribo, and Kelechi Nwakali — which seems insufficient on paper, particularly given the attack’s exaggeration. Of course, Ahmed Musa’s ongoing involvement and Odion Ighalo’s comeback have received criticism, and one has to ask if they should have been exempted to bolster Eguavoen’s options in the middle. 

Which players were left out? 

Here are some Nigerian players who failed to make the cut: 

  • Tyronne Ebuehi 

Since joining the Super Eagles from the Netherlands, the Benfica player has struggled for game time. Nigeria’s full backs lack attacking inventiveness, therefore Ebuehi would have been a viable alternative to increase scoring chances for the high-flying front line. 

  • Cyriel Dessers

His exclusion from the Super Eagles roster has been maintained. The Feyenoord striker has been in good form since his previous Super Eagles appearance, but has been overlooked again. His absence is understandable given the offensive line’s current condition. He was unlucky to miss the competition. 

  • Kevin Akpoguma 

The Hoffenheim defender has been in superb form for the fifth-placed Bundesliga side. His four goals (two goals and two assists) demonstrate he can perform as many of his teammates in the opposite side of the table. Considering Nigeria’s existing centre-back choices rarely attack, Akpoguma may have been a revelation. 

  • Ademola Lookman

The former England youth international may have given Nigeria’s left wing some creativity and speed. The nimble winger would have challenged skipper Ahmed Musa for his spot, or been a great bench option against Egypt. The Leicester City striker has two Premier League goals, the most recent coming in a 6-3 loss to reigning champions Manchester City. 

  • Calvin Bassey

Like Akpoguma, Bassey has excelled while representing Nigeria abroad. Fans have been outraged by his exclusion. He plays with Leon Balogun, one of Nigeria’s main centre back choices. He has proven to be an excellent deputy for Balogun in club colours, leaving Eguavoen puzzled. The Super Eagles might have used Bassey’s tough tackling and attacking runs when they face probably the strongest African generation in recent memory at the Africa Cup of Nations. 

  • Akinkunmi Amoo

The Super Eagles have yet to call up the U-21 international, but he is already a favourite with Nigerians and Hammarby IF fans in Sweden. A swift dribbler like Amoo could have been the perfect wildcard for a rooster short on them. Given the attacking names in the lineup, it’s easy to see why Amoo was overlooked. His moment will come, but many believe he should have had a chance to play with the team.

Bottom Line 

Despite different views from fans, the AFCON squad is one of the best Nigeria has put together in recent years. The biggest concern, without a doubt, is Osimhen, who has not played since his facial injury against Inter Milan in November.