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Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro, in collaboration with the Nigeria Football Federation, has submitted a 40-man roster to the Confederation of African Football for the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. The list prominently features notable players like Victor Osimhen, Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Francis Uzoho, among others.

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Despite these inclusions, several promising talents find themselves excluded, eagerly awaiting another opportunity in the subsequent years to participate in Africa’s premier football event. Torizone spotlights seven standout players who are likely disappointed to miss the 36th edition of the AFCON.

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1. Chuba Akpom, Ajax:
– The versatile 28-year-old striker, boasting an impressive goal-scoring record, scored 28 league goals for Middlesbrough last season and has notched eight in his last ten games for Ajax this term. Despite his goal-scoring prowess and versatility, Peseiro’s plans regrettably do not involve Akpom.

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2. Gift Orban, KAA Gent:
– Orban, a revelation in 2023, has attracted attention from top clubs like Eintracht Frankfurt, Barcelona, and Tottenham Hotspur. His remarkable feat of netting the fastest hat-trick in the history of all European club competitions has turned heads. While he caught Peseiro’s attention in October, issues with the Togo federation over his nationality may have hindered his AFCON inclusion.

3. Akor Adams, Montpellier:
– With an outstanding goal-scoring record, the 23-year-old forward has scored 22 goals this season, making him the top scorer in Europe’s major leagues. Despite interest from clubs like West Ham United and AC Milan, Peseiro has not deemed Adams worthy of a spot in the Nigerian team for the Ivory Coast tournament.

4. Maduka Okoye, Udinese:
– Once the first-choice goalkeeper for the Super Eagles at the 2021 AFCON, Okoye’s career took a downturn after a crucial error led to Nigeria’s elimination. Despite his initial rise from the German fourth division to becoming Udinese’s shot-stopper, he faces challenges at both club and international levels. Peseiro has opted for other goalkeeping options.

5. Chidera Ejuke, Royal Antwerp:
– Ejuke, a skillful winger, was part of the Super Eagles squad in the previous AFCON. Despite being Nigeria’s top dribbler in Europe, he struggles to secure a consistent place in the national team. His recent goal-scoring contributions for Antwerp have added to his versatility, but Peseiro has not included him for AFCON 2023.

6. Ismail Sodiq, Remo Stars:
– A standout full-back in the Nigeria Professional Football League, Sodiq combines excellent attacking prowess with defensive commitment, tallying nine assists this season. His contributions have been crucial for league leaders Remo Stars. Despite his impressive form, he did not make the cut for AFCON, leaving a void in the squad’s defensive options.

7. Igoh Ogbu, Slavia Prague:
– Ogbu, a formidable defender, joined Slavia Prague in January and quickly became a key player. Despite his solid performances in the league and Europa League, he is yet to make his Super Eagles debut. While he missed out on AFCON 2023, Ogbu’s consistent displays hint at a future role as a stalwart in the Super Eagles’ defense.

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