Gent forward Gift Orban was one of the top names missing from the latest Super Eagles squad released by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Monday.
Head coach Jose Peseiro named 25 players in the latest Super Eagles squad for the upcoming international friendly matches against Saudi Arabia and Mozambique in Portugal and Orban was conspicuously missing.
OFFICIAL: Super Eagles squad list for October friendlies. pic.twitter.com/NkKjJeULs0
— Soar Super Eagles (@SSE_NGA) October 2, 2023
Tough time for Gift Orban
Orban, 21, who made it to the squad for the Sao Tome & Principe game last month, failed to make his debut due to an injury, while his form at club side has dipped.
Gent coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck raised concerns about the current form of striker Gift Orban after Sunday's 1-1 draw with RWD Molenbeek.
Due to his recent form, Hein left him on the bench and only decided to introduce him with less than 30 minutes to play. The Gent coach complained that the Super Eagles invitee did not make an impact after coming into that game.
“Scoring is a bit of our problem. Hugo Cuypers was not there tonight, but Hugo has also scored much less in recent weeks, just like Gift Emmanuel Orban.
“We have had plenty of chances, but we are not taking them. There is one of us who scores every match at a certain tournament. Hopefully he will leave some goals for us.” Vanhaezebrouck remarked.
The striker has only netted twice in seven appearances in the league so far this season, with his last goal coming in August versus Sint Truiden.
Breakdown of the latest Super Eagles list
Defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Bright Osayi-Samuel, midfielder Alex Iwobi, and forward Terem Moffi all earned recalls to the squad. Captain Ahmed Musa and Vice-captain William Troost-Ekong were not called up.
Meanwhile, Fisayo Dele-Bashiru has been handed his first-ever invitation, while goalkeepers Francis Uzoho, Adebayo Adeleye, and Olorunleke Ojo, who were in the squad against Sao Tome & Principe last month, were retained for these games by Peseiro.
The Super Eagles will face the Green Falcons of Saudi Arabia on October 13, 2023, in Portimão, Portugal, before facing the Mambas of Mozambique just three days later.
These matches are part of the side’s preparations for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying series which has been billed to start in November.
The Super Eagles squad in full
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Omonia FC, Cyprus); Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba FC); Adebayo Adeleye (Hapoel Jerusalem, Israel)
Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Nottingham Forest, England); Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Jordan Torunarigha (KAA Gent, Belgium); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Calvin Bassey (Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (Cardiff FC, Wales); Bruno Onyemaechi (Boavista FC, Portugal)
Midfielders: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Raphael Onyedika (Club Brugge, Belgium); Joe Ayodele-Aribo (Southampton FC, England); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Fulham FC, England); Fisayo Dele-Bashiru (Hatayaspor FC, Turkey)
Forwards: Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (AC Milan, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest, England); Terem Moffi (OGC Nice, France); Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany).
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago