Who are the 8 players returning to the Super Eagles ahead of Ghana & Mali tests?

The Super Eagles impressed at the AFCON but currently have no coach- Photo Credit: Imago

Who are the 8 players returning to the Super Eagles ahead of Ghana & Mali tests?

Izuchukwu Akawor 09:53 - 10.03.2024

No fewer than eight players will return to Nigeria's Super Eagles when they clash against West African neighbours Ghana and Mali.

The Super Eagles have recalled eight players for this month's highly anticipated friendly matches against Ghana and Mali in Morocco.

Headlining the list of returners is Leicester City's Wilfred Ndidi, who missed the Africa Cup of Nations in January through injury as Nigeria finished runners-up to Ivory Coast, Pulse Sports Nigeria reports.

Super Eagles returnees for Ghana

Leicester’s midfield enforcer Ndidi is joined by the in-form Nathan Tella of Bayer Leverkusen, Empoli's Tyronne Ebuehi, Rangers striker Cyriel Dessers and Jamilu Collins, who is back involved after a spell in the international wilderness.

Turkey-based Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, Taiwo Awoniyi and Umar Sadiq of Real Sociedad complete the crop of returning faces as the Nigerian side begins preparations for the 2023 AFCON qualifiers.

Wilfred Ndidi returns after missing AFCON 2023.
Wilfred Ndidi representing the Super Eagles.

Of those brought back in, it is Dessers who arrives with the most impressive form, having plundered 12 goals and provided two assists in an outstanding campaign so far for Scottish giants Rangers.

Dele-Bashiru has contributed four goals and two assists from midfield, while Tella and Awoniyi have netted four and six times respectively for their clubs this term.

Cyriel Dessers will be happy to be back with the Super Eagles.
Dessers has contributed 14 goals in just 18 starts for Rangers in the league this season.

The eight players come back into the fray having missed out on the AFCON squad, with Eagles selectors retaining the core of the team that reached the final in Cote d'Ivoire before that agonising 2-1 defeat.

This batch of friendlies gives Nigeria a chance to integrate the returning stars ahead of a vital stint of 2025 AFCON qualifiers beginning in June.

Tella originally made the provisional squad for the AFCON 2023.
Nathan Tella has now scored two goals this season for Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga. (Photo Credit: Bayer/X)

Nigeria will be desperate to gain revenge over Ghana, who eliminated them in a dramatic World Cup playoff last March to book their spot in Qatar.

The two West African rivals clash at the Grand Stade de Marrakech on March 22nd in what is sure to be a feisty affair following that heartbreaking World Cup disappointment for the Super Eagles.

Fisayo Dele-Bashiru is attracting interest from AC Milan
Fisayo Dele-Bashiru plays in Turkey.

Four days later, they take on another familiar AFCON foe in Mali, with the two nations sharing the 'Eagles' nickname and having met in the 2013 semi-finals.

With a clutch of players returning and places up for grabs, the upcoming double header represents a great opportunity to for the players to impress and stake a claim for the road towards AFCON 2025.

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