Under-20 World Cup: Nigeria Omit Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze

Samuel Chukwueze

Nigeria have named a strong 21-man squad for this month’s Under-20 World Cup in Poland.

As expected Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze has been omitted clearing the way for him to play for the Super Eagles at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Former England youth international Tom Dele-Bashiru of Manchester City and Bournemouth midfielder Nnamdi Ofoborh have both been included.

Coach Paul Aigbogun has included ten members of the squad that helped Nigeria qualify for the World Cup by reaching the semi-finals at February’s Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations.

“This is largely a stronger squad than those who played in Niger and the NFF has provided adequate preparations for the team ahead of the World Cup,” Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) director of communications Ademola Olajire told BBC Sport.

The side has already come in for criticism following an uninspiring fourth place finish at the continental finals in Niger.

Despite global successes at under-17 and Olympic (under-23) levels Nigeria have never won the Under-20 World Cup despite having appeared at 11 previous tournaments.

Runners-up in 1989 and 2005, Nigeria will open Group D against Qatar on 24 May, then face United States before finishing the group campaign against Ukraine.

Ghana are the only African side to win the Under-20 World Cup when they beat Brazil on penalties in the 2009 final in Egypt.

Nigeria squad:

Goalkeepers: Detan Ogundare (Kogi United), Olawale Oremade (Kwara United), Jonathan Zaccala (Triestina FC, Italy)

Defenders: Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba FC), Aliu Salawudeen (Amuneke Academy), Igoh Ogbu (Rosenborg BK, Norway), Ikouwem Utin (Enyimba FC), Muhammad Rabiu (Plateau United), Jamil Muhammad (Kano Pillars)

Midfielders: Nnamdi Ofoborh (Bournemouth, England), Eletu Peter (Prince Kazeem FC), Ayotomiwa Dele-Bashiru (Manchester City, England), Kingsley Michael (Perugia, Italy), Effiom Maxwell (Enyimba FC), Aniekeme Okon (Akwa United), Collins Sor (Oasis FC)

Forwards: Jerome Adams (Sogndal IL, Norway), Tijani Muhammed (FC Banik Ostrava, Czech Republic), Henry Offia (IK Sirius Uppsala, Sweden), Chinonso Emeka (Club Brookhouse, England), Success Makanjuola (Water FC)

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