KAA Gent of Belgium sensation, Gift Orban, has received his inaugural invitation to the Nigerian senior national football team, as exclusively disclosed by owngoalnigeria .
The 20-year-old rising star has garnered significant attention in European football, having scored an impressive 19 goals in 19 appearances for Gent since joining them in January from Norwegian second division side, Stabaek.
OGN exclusive sources reveal that Nigeria’s head coach, Jose Peseiro, personally informed Orban about his selection during a meeting in Belgium two months ago. The coach had previously expressed concerns over Orban’s decision to decline a call-up to the Nigeria U23 team for the U23 AFCON qualifiers. However, Orban clarified his reasons, and the coach accepted his explanation, avoiding disciplinary action from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Orban’s call-up is specifically for the final round of AFCON 2023 qualifiers, where Nigeria will face Sierra Leone and Sao Tome and Principe in crucial matches for securing a spot in the tournament, hosted by Cote D’Ivoire.
The official announcement of the squad for these games is expected in approximately two weeks. Orban, who is highly sought after by several European teams, is likely to replace Paul Onuachu in the lineup due to the latter’s goalless spell following his move to the relegated English Premier League side, Southampton.