Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi has been given his first call-up by the country he was born in – Nigeria – for a friendly next week against Venezuela in Miami.
First call up for Shola Ameobi
And just when we escaped having two of our strikers, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse, away in January and some of February in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), there is now the distinct possibility that Shola could be called up for that tournament, and not be available to Newcastle for a number of weeks.
Newcastle will already be without Ivory Coast International Cheick Tiote, who is representing his country at the AFCON.
Ameobi played for the England U21 side 20 times and scored 7 goals but has never been capped at the full England level and therefore is still available to play for the country of his birth, and even though he turned 31 last month.
The AFCON have had three tournaments in the last four years, and it comes right in the middle of the European football season, and is a huge inconvenience to teams who have top African players – like Newcastle.
The Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi will also name 15 players from the Nigeria Premier League for this match, as well as the foreign players, and this is in preparation for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations.
This is a list of the invited foreign players:
Goalkeeper: Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva/ISR)
Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (FC Braga/POR), Onyekachi Apam (Rennes/FRA)
Midfielders: Mikel Obi (Chelsea/ENG), Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis/ESP), Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio/ITA), Raheem Lawal (Adana Demirspor/TUR)
Forwards: Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kiev/UKR), Victor Moses (Chelsea/ENG), Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United/ENG), Obafemi Martins (Levante/ESP)
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