Tuesday Mar 21, 2023. 11:00
Nigeria head coach Jose Peseiro has explained why he included Wilfred Ndidi, Joe Aribo and Frank Onyeka in his latest squad.
The out-of-favour midfielders have been included in the 23-man Super Eagles squad that will face Guinea-Bissau in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers later this month.
Ndidi, Aribo and Onyeka have found game time hard to come by at Leicester City, Aston Villa and Brentford FC respectively this year and their inclusion in Peseiro’s squad raised a few eyebrows.
“I understand the question. Many people asked why some players come and don’t play. I want to build a team,” Peseiro said on All Nigerian Soccer.
“For me, I prefer to choose the best players . The others play more times but for me the best players are the best players.
“In their teams they don’t give them chances to play, it’s my obligation, it’s my goal, it’s my responsibility to call them because I believe in them. If I see a better midfielder, I don’t call them,” the 62-year-old continued.
“If he’s injured, it’s different, they work well because I stay in contact every time with them. I ask the coaches and they say they work well, are fit and have a good performance, but they chose other players .
“They inform me the players don’t have injuries and are fit. Our job is not easy because you need to choose not the same players,” the Portuguese tactician added.
“But ninety percent are the same players to improve our dynamics, improve our organization and build our spirit.”
Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau are scheduled to meet at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja from 5pm on Friday, 24th March.
The two teams will then make it a second date at the Estadio 24 de Setembro in Bissau on Monday, 27th March, also starting from 5pm.