Former Arsenal midfielder Kelechi Nwakali is in contention to be chosen in Nigeria’s preliminary roster for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, according to interim manager Augustine Eguavoen.


About a week ago, All Soccer Nigeria reported that that the SD Huesca star had spoken with the newly-appointed Super Eagles interim coach, but highlighted that Eguavoen did not initiate the conversation, which the former Nigeria captain has verified.



Eguavoen is now requesting permission from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to change the list he filed in November, and if allowed, Nwakali and one or two other players will be added to the squad.



The Super Eagles midfield has to be strengthened ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations since they lack a true playmaker, a position in which Nwakali has excelled for the country’s youth teams.

“The provisional list has been submitted long ago but we’ll try to see how we can probably bring few on board if it’s allowed, if it’s permitted, but if it’s not permitted we’ll still work with the list that has been dropped with CAF and I think we can still get an excellent team from that list,” Eguavoen said.

The 1994 AFCON added : “I didn’t contact Kelechi Nwakali. If it’s permitted to alter the list I will bring in two or three names. I have to speak with the Federation first and then they will contact CAF if it is possible.

“Myself and Kelechi we spoke but he’s not on that list that was submitted to CAF, if there’s a possibility yes I like the kid”.


Nwakali has been in two Super Eagles training games, against Atletico Madrid and Liberia in 2018, and is yet to make his senior squad debut.

The Super Eagles are grouped in Group D alongside Egypt, Sudan and Guinea Bissau.

Nigeria will take on the Pharoahs of Egypt in the group’s opening game on the 11th of January, 2021 at exactly 5pm.