Nigeria have called up Napoli striker Victor Osimhen for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Benin and Lesotho after a difficult time in Italy, officials said on Tuesday.
Osimhen had been sidelined for more than three months with a shoulder injury and was forced to apologise after images of him partying without wearing a mask were shared on social media, since his club-record transfer to Italy from French club Lille in September.
He was then hospitalised last month after a nasty fall in a defeat against Atalanta in which he hit his head, but scored on his reason this weekend in a 3-1 win over Bologna.
Nigeria visit Benin on 27 March before they host Lesotho on Lagos three days later to conclude the qualifying series for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, which will be staged next year in Cameroon.
Sierra Leone have three points with only the top two teams advancing to the tournament proper.
Also called up to the 24-man squad are uncapped Sadiq Umar from Spanish second-tier club Almeria and Enyimba goalkeeper John Noble.
Noble was the hero when Enyimba edged past fellow Nigerian club Rivers United on penalties to qualify for the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup.
He is the only player from the domestic league in the main squad and has been listed alongside Sparta Rotterdam ‘keeper Maduka Okoye and Francis Uzoho, who was the country’s No 1 at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Captain Ahmed Musa was a surprise inclusion as he has been a free agent since October and coach Gernot Rohr has often maintained he will not consider players without a club.