- Mikel, Ighalo, Emenike, Echiejile, others beat Monday’s deadline
Super Eagles was a near full house yesterday after 16 foreign-based players flew into Brussels, Belgium ahead of Thursday’s international friendly between Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo.
At lunch time yesterday, 16 players had arrived the team’s camp at The Verviers Hotel, Verviers camp in Belgium.
Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel and Watford’s Odion Ighalo were the early birds in camp. Mikel touched down in Belgium yesterday aboard a British Airways flight.
Mikel who is making a return to the senior national team after a long absence was not listed in his side’s 3-1 defeat to Sunderland, while Ighalo’s goal ensured Watford played a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth.
They were later joined by Ahmed Musa, Efe Ambrose, Onazi, Igbonu, Rabiu, Emenike, Carls Ikeme, Leon Balogun, Troost-Ekong and Alex Iwobi.
AS Monaco’s Elderson Echiejile, Obiora Nwankwo and Haugesund’s William Troost-Ekong also arrived yesterday evening.
Echiejile took to Twitter and announce his arrival in the Belgian capital. He tweeted via his handle @EldersonEch: ‘’Just arrived the @NGSuperEagles camp in Belgium. #UpEagles.’’
Echiejile was not listed by manager Leonardo Jardim as his French based outfit struggled to a 1-1 draw at home to Rennes, while Troost-Ekong was on from start to finish as his team bowed 2-1 at home to Odd Ballklub in Norway’s Tippeligaen.
More players were expected to team up with Sunday Oliseh’s men before Monday night. The team trained yesterday evening at the R. Battice FC training ground.
Eagles’ Team administrator Enebi Achor informed journalists that the team will train twice today (10am and 4pm) at the same venue.
He disclosed that defender Godfrey Oboabona also having visa issues in Turkey, as his international passport is yet to be released by the Belgian Embassy in that country.
Also, Super Eagles’ officials on ground in Belgium may need to secure the services of a temporary physiotherapist for massage and medical matters if by Tuesday, the team’s medical crew (part of the delegation that is held up in Abuja) is not issued visas to join the group in Belgium.
Six home-based professionals are in the delegation yet to be issued visas in Abuja. These are goalkeepers Femi Thomas and Ikechukwu Ezenwa, defender Chima Akas and Austin Oboroakpo, midfielder Paul Onobi and forward Prince Aggrey.
In a related development, organizers of the international friendly announced yesterday that the Nigeria/Congo DR game will now be played in Vise, Liege with kick off time fixed for 7pm.
The Eagles will also face the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in Dendermonde on Sunday.