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Finidi George names Nigeria squad with attacking intent

Finidi George names Nigeria squad with attacking intent

Nigeria’s new head coach, Finidi George, has chosen an attacking group as the Super Eagles seek to dominate Group C, departing from the defensive tactics used at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations.

The former International has named a strong 25-man squad for their upcoming 2026 World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin. 

Key attackers are Europa League winner Ademola Lookman and CAF African Player of the Year Victor Osimhen, Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England), Samuel Chukwueze (AC Milan, Italy) and Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany) all included for the doubleheader.

“We cannot play defensive football with the caliber of players that we have,” said George. “We have to find the right balance between attack and defense.”

Lookman and Osimhen will lead the offensive threat, supported by midfielders Wilfred Ndidi, Frank Onyeka, Alex Iwobi, and Raphael Onyedika.

George has selected Remo Stars wing-back Sadiq Ismail for the first time, acknowledging his impressive performance in the Nigerian league. 

In goal, Maduka Okoye returns, while Chippa United’s Stanley Nwabali is expected to keep his place as Nigeria’s number-one goalkeeper. 

Currently third in their qualifying group, Nigeria aims to secure maximum points from the upcoming double-header to qualify for the 2026 World Cup in the USA, Canada, and Mexico.


Goalkeepers: Stanley Nwabali (Chippa United, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Udinese FC, Italy); Ojo Olorunleke (Enyimba FC)

Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (Boavista FC, Portugal); Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Sadiq Ismael (Remo Stars FC); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Calvin Bassey (Fulham FC, England); Benjamin Tanimu (Ihefu SC, Tanzania)

Midfielders: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Raphael Onyedika (Club Brugge, Belgium); Alhassan Yusuf Abdullahi (Royal Antwerp FC, Belgium); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Fulham FC, England); Fisayo Dele-Bashiru (Hatayspor, Turkey)

Forwards: Nathan Tella (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (AC Milan, Italy); Paul Onuachu (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy); Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany); Terem Moffi (OGC Nice, France)

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