Shola Waiting For Christmas Day
On Christmas Day the coach of the Nigerian national side, Stephen Keshi, will announce the list of foreign based players who will be invited to a training camp in Faro (Portugal) in advance of naming the squad for the African Nations Cup.
The preliminary squad of players need to be in Faro no later than Friday 4th January, meaning that if selected, Shola could be available for Everton on Wednesday 2nd January but away after that, starting with the FA Cup clash with Brighton on the 5th January.
Keshi has hinted that Shola is likely to be included at least in this preliminary list as when talking about his plans he namechecked Ameobi amongst others.
“Ameobi brought competition and experience to the Eagles as he played (against Venezuela) as if he had been part of the national team set up for several years”.
Another player picked out by the coach was home-based Gabriel Ruben, a player whose quotes suggest that there might be a bit of edge between those who play abroad and those who are still playing in the domestic league.
“I am back and better. The injury can’t stop me from being a part of the Nations Cup campaign. I’m not afraid to compete with the foreign-based players in Faro. It is no big deal as they all started here as ‘home-based’ before they went to Europe’.
Nigeria are in Group C and their scheduled mates are;
21 Jan Burkina Faso
24 Jan Zambia
29 Jan Ethiopia
We’ll know at the very latest by Wednesday 9th January whether Shola (and Tiote for Ivory Coast) will be featuring in the competition as that is the deadline for all nations to submit their squads.
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