Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi under close watch by NFF, as Etebo, Akpeyi to report to camp on monday

Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi under close watch by NFF, as Etebo, Akpeyi to report to camp on monday

Injured Arsenal forward, Alex Iwobi, is under close watch by the Nigeria Football Fed­eration (NFF), ahead of the crucial 2018 World Cup qualify­ing game between the Super Ea­gles and Chipolopolo of Zambia next weekend in Uyo.

Iwobi ’s injury has been a source of concern to Nigerian fans but the NFF has said the coaching crew would have no problem if the youthful player is not fit be­fore the game as there are quality players on the standby list.

Though NFF is sad at the de­velopment, it is, however, delight­ed that the core members of the team, the likes of Victor Moses, Obi Mikel and Leon Balogun, are in good health ahead of the deci­sive encounter.

‘’If you look at our list of in­vited players, we have a standby list made up quality players, so it is just a matter of regret that he is injured but I am sure he has been in contact with the technical ad­viser,’’ a top NFF official said.

‘’That’s the reason we have re­serves so that whenever some­thing happens to somebody in the list we don’t have to run helter-skelter to look for replacements.

CSKA Moscow star Aaron Samuel is the only striker named on Nigeria’s five-man standby list for the World Cup qualifier against the Copper Bullets.

Meanwhile, CD Feirense attacking midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo will report for international duty on Sunday, October 1, a day before the Super Eagles are expected to begin preparations for their penultimate World Cup qualifier against Zambia.

He will feature for CD Feirense in their Primeira Liga clash against Boavista at the Estádio do Bessa Século XXI (Porto) before hopping on a plane bound for Nigeria.

The last one month has represented the best period in Etebo’s career since transferring to Portugal, with the 2016 Olympic Games star scoring three goals from seven matches and improving his reputation as one of the finest young talents in Africa.

The 21-year-old, who managed only two goals in the league last season, was on the bench against Cameroon in Uyo, before playing the last three minutes in the reverse fixture in Yaounde.

Meanwhile, another former Warri Wolves star in the shape of Daniel Akpeyi will join the Super Eagles at their get-together in Uyo on Monday.

And the Chippa United goalkeeper has not done badly since fully recovering from the injury that ruled him out of the qualifiers against the Indomitable Lions, posting two shutouts in three matches.

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