Embattled Nigerian Flying Eagles coach Ladan Bosso has turned to unknown Nigerian-born Manchester United Academy youngster Nicky Ajose to rescue his team as he made public a list of 46 players invited for the African Youth Championship billed for Rwanda next month.
Born in Bury, 17-year-old Ajose who had been capped by England at the U-16 level tops the list of 21 foreign-based players invited by the Flying Eagles handler in what he referred to as his first set of invitees, a list that left out his top foreign-based players who prosecuted the AYC qualifiers.
CAF Champions League top scorer Steven Worgu led the 25 home-based players listed in the list as some of the players who featured in the dismal WAFU Cup outing were also given a second chance.
Midfielder Ajose who was born on 7th October 1991 is expected to prove himself when Bosso releases his second list of established players including Lukman Haruna, Rabiu Ibrahim, Chrisantus Macauley, Ganiyu Oseni and Kabiru Akinsola.
The tournament takes place in Kigali from January 18 to February 1.The players are expected to report to the Brifina Hotel camp in Abuja from December 15 for the domestic players and December 28 for the foreign-based players.
The squad:Foreign-based playersChima Daniel (Charlton Athletic FC), Kayode Fagbola (Saint Patrick, Ireland), Innocent Nkasiobi Emeghara (FC Zurich), Azeez O. Balogun (Belenenses, Portugal), Frank Temile (Dynamo Kiev), Jason K. Oladele (Dublin, Ireland), Robert Collins (AC Pro Sesto Calico, Italy), Adeola Runsewe (FC Midtjylland, Denmark),Kingsley Umunegbu, Nnamdi Oduamadi, Harmony Ikande (AC Milan, Italy), Gabriel Baba (Lusitano, Switzerland), Daniel Adejo (Reggina, Italy), Nicky Ajose (Manchester United), Jamil Adams (Barnsley FC, England).
Home-based playersSteven Worgu, Okoro O. Moses, Salami F. Gbolahan, Uchebo M. Okechukwu, Kennedy Eriba, Okafor Uche, Dele Ajiboye, Theophilus A, Steven Joseph, Obum Ogbe, Joshua Daniel, Edet Ibok, Alex Nkume, Vincent Atabo, Ambrose Peter, Edile Origoya, Samuel Tswanya, Obiora Nwankwo, Abe Sunday, Egbeta U. Michael, Igiebo Emmanuel, Otekpa Eneji, Timothy Idogbe, Peter Abraham, Ayo Saka.