Despite initial fears that foreign clubs will not release their players for the forthcoming U23 AFCON, SCORENigeria has reliably gathered that as many as 16 of these players will make the final cut to the tournament in Egypt, which also serves as qualifiers for the 2020 Tokoyo Olympics.
Coach Imama Amapakabo will name his final 23-man squad before they depart for Egypt Thursday.
Skipper Okechukwu Azubuike, Taiwo Awoniyi as well as striker Bright Enobakhare, who is on loan at English Championship club Wigan from Wolves, are some of the foreign stars expected to join up with the squad, officials told SCORENigeria
SCORENigeria learnt that Awoniyi, who is on loan to Bundesliga club Mainz 05 from Premier League champions Liverpool, will most probably miss the team’s opening game against Cote d’Ivoire on November 9 in Cairo, but will be available for the team’s subsequent group games.
The overseas pros already in camp in Abuja are Valentine Uzornwafor (Spain), Tom Dele-Bashiru (England), Muyiwa Olabiran (Russia), Samuel Atvati (Tunisia), Sincere Seth (Turkey), Kelechi Nwakali (Spain) and Orji Okwonkwo (USA).
Esperance of Tunis right fullback Atvati has already been a big revelation in training camp.
The home-based players set for Egypt include goalkeeper Abubakar Adamu, defenders Ebube Duru, Olisa Ndah and Stephen Manyo, midfielder Fatai Gbadamosi as well as striker Sunusi Ibrahim.