Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has invited Shehu Abdullahi to replace injured Midtjylland midfielder Frank Onyeka for their 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixtures against Sierra Leone. Onyeka picked up an injury during his side’s 4-0 win over FC Copenhagen in a Danish Superliga game on Sunday.
The 22-year-old was initially called for the battle against Sierra Leone after he made his Super Eagles debut in an international friendly outing against Algeria last month.
The setback has made Rohr turn to Abdullahi who was placed on the standby list after his fine start to life in the Cypriot First Division with Omonia Nicosia.
The 27-year-old has played five games across all competitions for Omonia since he joined them as a free agent in September. Last Thursday, Abdullahi made his Europa League debut in Omonia’s 2-0 loss to Granada.
The last time the former Bursaspor midfielder earned a call-up to the national team was in October 2019. He was introduced as a stoppage-time substitute in Nigeria’s 1-1 draw against Brazil in Singapore.
Onyeka is the second player to withdraw from Gernot Rohr’s team after Nantes winger Moses Simon pulled out due to a groin injury a week ago. Simon was subsequently replaced by Genk striker Paul Onuachu.
Super Eagles head into Thursday’s game against Sierra Leone at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium as Group L leaders having won their first two games against Benin and Lesotho.
They are scheduled to play the reverse fixture in Freetown on November 17.