The Portuguese tactician will not have the full complement of Super Eagles’ stars when he takes charge of the team for the first time tonight in the United States
The number of players in the Super Eagles camp in Dallas has increased to twenty with the arrival of Feyenoord striker Cyriel Dessers, ahead of Nigeria’s friendly match against Mexico at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
However, massive withdrawals of key players have left Super Eagles manager Jose Peseiro short on quantity and quality as Nigeria prepare to trade tackles with the former Concacaf Gold Cup champions.
Team captain and Fatih Karagumruk forward Ahmed Musa is out of the friendlies. Porto full-back Zaidu Sanusi and Abdullahi Shehu, who recently won the Cypriot Cup, have also pulled out of the encounter.
Jose Peseiro will also be without young midfielders Salzburg-owned Samson Tijani and Antwerp’s Alhassan Yusuf.
Turkey-based Azubuike Okechukwu will also not take part in the game against Mexico.
Watford forward Emmanuel Dennis, Sparta Rotterdam goalkeeper Maduka Okoye and Almeria’s Umar Sadiq earlier withdrew from the friendly match.
Lorient’s duo of striker Terem Moffi and midfielder Innocent Bonke, as well as Israel-based shot-stopper Adebayo, were called up as their replacements.
Visa hitches, injuries, and club commitments forced the players to withdraw from the game.
The spirit in the camp, however, remains positive as a fine blend of NPFL and Europe-based stars were involved in team training on Friday.
Aside from Europa Conference League finalist Dessers, Rangers duo of Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey have joined the Super Eagles camp in the United States.
Watford’s William Troost-Ekong, Torino’s Ola Aina, Nantes’ Moses Simon, and Everton’s Alex Iwobi are some of the senior players already in camp.
List of players in Nigeria’s camp:
Adeyinka, Olorunleke, Buhari, Madu, Rafiu, Mbaoma, Sanni, Bello, Aina, Ajayi, Ekong, Simon, Iwobi, Bassey, Aribo, Moffi, Bonke, Awaziem, Uzoho, Dessers.