Days after the head coach of the Super Eagles, Jose Peseiro, submitted his provisional squad to the Confederation of African Football, CAF, the list was officially confirmed this week.
There are 41 names on the list, which will be eventually reduced to 27.
In a departure from the norm, CAF has increased the size of the final squads from 23 players to 27 for the 2023 AFCON.
The registration of four more players on the final list is merely an option, not a requirement.
However during the tournament, only 23 players will be eligible to be selected for each match.
Peseiro is expected to send in his final squad submission to CAF before the January 3 deadline.
Only three home-based players – Ojo Oluwasegun (Enyimba FC), Christian Nwoke (Sporting Lagos FC) and Obasogie Amas (Bendel Insurance) – made the provisional list.
Of course, this resurrected the familiar conversation of including talents from the domestic scene in the Eagles’ squad for tournaments.
“It’s ultimately down to the manager,” Solace Chukwu, the Senior Editor at Pulse Sports, tells DAILY POST.
“He has shown nothing in his time in charge to indicate he believes in the competitive level of the local league, so their exclusion here is no surprise.
“He’s picked the team he feels is best equipped to achieve his objectives; it is his prerogative.”
Chukwu is also expecting the local players that were included in the provisional list to be cut loose, as well as some players plying their trades in foreign leagues.
“A few are clearly there to flesh out the roster.
“I can see the three NPFL goalkeepers – Nwoke, Oho and Obasogie – being dropped, as well as the likes of Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, Cyriel Dessers, Jamilu Collins, Cyriel Dessers and Paul Onuachu being dropped,” he added.
The list Peseiro sent to CAF contains names everyone clearly expected to be in there.
But were there any shock exclusions/inclusions?
Solace adds: “It’s a pretty bog standard list with no real shock exclusions.
“Most of the players who have played some role under Jose Peseiro so far made the cut and, save for Gift Orban, everyone you’d expect to be in there was listed.
“The one inclusion that sticks out like a sore thumb is, of course, that of Emmanuel Dennis, who has barely been a factor since his penalty kick in the friendly v Portugal last year.”