Rangers star Calvin Bassey will not be going to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with Nigeria – but high-profile Rangers flop Umar Sadiq will be.
Rangers Player of the Year frontrunner Joe Aribo also makes the squad whilst Ibrox centre-back Leon Balogun – who has 41 caps for his country – has been called up for the tournament in Cameroon.
Versatile Ibrox defender Calvin Bassey is yet to make an appearance for the Super Eagles but after being called up by ex-Nigeria boss Gernot Rohr previously, there were hopes he might’ve made the cut.
Bassey has also been a revelation for new Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst amid a spate of defensive injuries at Ibrox.
Major Rangers Old Firm doubts after Nigeria AFCON squad announced
The decision will represent a blow for Calvin Bassey, 21, but it does mean the player should be available to face Celtic in the rearranged Old Firm fixture at Celtic Park on February 2nd.
Because the AFCON runs from January 9th to February 6th 2022, should Nigeria – as expected – go deep into the tournament any Gers players in the squad would miss the Celtic game.
There are now major doubts regarding the availability of both Joe Aribo and Leon Balogun for the Celtic game with Rangers fans now watching any Nigeria progress at the tournament closely.
Rangers flop Umar Sadiq makes Nigeria AFCON squad
The inclusion of striker Umar Sadiq in the Nigeria squad also won’t come as any surprise to those watching the ex-Roma star’s progress with Almeria.
Sadiq, 24, had an ill-fated six-month spell at Ibrox under Steven Gerrard in 2018 and his time at Rangers is infamous.
But since leaving Ibrox Sadiq has gone on to carve out a successful career at Partizan Belgrade and in the Spanish lower leagues, where is goalscoring form has earned him links to Newcastle United and even Bayern Munich.
Nigeria kick off their AFCON campaign against Egypt on the 11th of January before playing matches against Sudan and Guinea-Bissau to complete the group stage.
Meanwhile, a Rangers-linked midfield target from the summer has been the subject of interest from elsewhere, a director at his current club has confirmed.