clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Young Everton forward receives international call up

A chance to show what he can do.

RSC Anderlecht v Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

On loan Everton attacker Henry Onyekuru has been called up to represent Nigeria in their upcoming African Cup of Nations qualifying fixture. He replaces the injured Odion Ighalo who has been the leading scorer for the team in the competition.

Onyekuru already has five appearances for his national side, and after a recent Istanbul derby day brawl he may not mind getting a break from the Turkish capital. His start to the year has been solid, garnering seven starts in the league and netting two goals, as well as making three Champions League appearances. He is averaging an impressive 1.4 key passes per 90, all from open play, and has a willing (although inefficient) dribbler from the wing.

It is unlikely that Henry will find himself starting any of these national team fixtures as all his Nations Cup appearances thus far have been off the bench. However, as a 21 year old from one of the top footballing nations in Africa, simply gaining call ups at this point is a huge positive.

If Nigeria gets a result against South Africa, they will confirm their qualification for the AFCON tournament. These are likely to be the two years who advance, although if Libya wins its last two games by gaudy scorelines they could have something to say about the matter. They are currently -9 in GD behind South Africa, so they would need a solid win against Seychelles then a convincing defeat against Bafana Bafana on the last day.

The 2019 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations will not disrupt the club football season as previous editions have. The tournament will take place in June and July of 2019.