Super Eagles squad: Gift Orban, Victor Boniface get first Nigeria invite

Super Eagles squad: Gift Orban, Victor Boniface get first Nigeria invite
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The Super Eagles' 23-man list for the AFCON qualifier against Sao Tome & Principe includes Gift Orban and Victor Boniface.

The recent form of the duo led to massive calls for their inclusion into the Super Eagles setup. Finally, they have made it into the squad.

The Super Eagles take on Sao Tome & Principe in their final AFCON qualifying games on September 10, 2023, at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium. The three-time African champions have already booked a place in the tournament taking place next year.

With four wins from five matches, the Super Eagles are top of Group A and only seeking a win to finish top of the four-team table.

With strikers like Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze and Kelechi Iheanacho, the young duo of Gift Orban and Victor Boniface have not had a look in.

The match against Sao Tome & Principe presents a superb opportunity for the duo to show Nigerians what they have to offer.

Jose Peseiro includes three new faces in the Super Eagles list

super eagles invitee victor boniface
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With the final AFCON qualifying game on the horizon, Jose Peseiro gave three new players the chance to showcase their talent for the national team.

There was some melee over whether the Portuguese manager would continue as manager of the senior national team, but the NFF have sorted it out.

Peseiro agreed to a pay cut and to manage the CHAN Eagles.

The Portuguese manager has released the squad list for the upcoming game, which includes three new faces.

The players have been in scintillating form this term, continuing from where they left off last season.

Their consistency has led to a first call-up to the Super Eagles.

They include Victor Boniface (Bayern Leverkusen, Germany), Gift Orban (KAA Gent, Belgium) and Jordan Torunarigha (KAA Gent, Belgium).

Why Orban and Boniface were invited

super eagle invitee Gift Orban
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The Super Eagles have struggled for goals in the qualifying games ahead of AFCON.

Aside from the 10-0 thrashing of group minnows, they have posted heady performances against Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau. 

In these games, they managed to get slim wins and recorded their only loss to Guinea Bissau at home.

The struggle to kill off chances has perhaps led to the invitation of Gift Orban and Victor Boniface.

The duo have been in fantastic form in this campaign.

In the Bundesliga, no player has had more goal contributions than Victor Boniface. The Bayer Leverkusen striker has four goals and two assists.

In the goals chart, he is second behind Guirassy (Stuttgart). The 6ft 2 inches striker will be a quality addition to the Super Eagles squad, especially when Victor Osimhen is not delivering the goods.

Gift Orban has also been in prolific scoring form this term. The 21-year-old striker has scored two goals in four Jupiler League matches.

Orban also scored four goals in five matches for KAA Gent in the UEFA Conference League.

While Orban was linked with a Tottenham move this summer, Boniface drew comparisons to the legendary Robert Lewandowski.

What Peseiro must do with Super Eagles

super eagles coach jose peseiro
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No matter how things pan out against Sao Tome & Principe, the Portugues manager must give Orban and Boniface time on the pitch. 

The two players are in the squad on merit and should be allowed to interact with others on the pitch.

The game should be an easy win for the Super Eagles, and an excellent run out for the duo will be good for confidence.

It would also send strong signals to the rest of Africa of the potential of the Super Eagles arsenal.

Super Eagles invited players

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Omonia FC, Cyprus); Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba FC); Adebayo Adeleye (Hapoel Jerusalem, Israel)

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Nottingham Forest, England); Tyronne Ebuehi (Empoli FC, Italy); Jordan Torunarigha (KAA Gent, Belgium); William Ekong (PAOK FC, Greece); Semi 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) 

Forwards: Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (AC Milan, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest, England); Gift Orban (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Boniface (Bayern Leverkusen, Germany)

 

This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter.