Ikouwem Utin earns first Nigeria call-up

Ikouwem Utin has been called up to the Nigeria senior team for the first time ahead of the matches against Seychelles and Egypt at Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.

The defender — who captained Nigeria at the 2019 U20 Africa Cup of Nations — has been drafted into the Nigeria squad by coach Gernot Rohr following the withdrawal of Samuel Kalu due to injury.

Utin becomes the second Enyimba player to receive a call-up for the matches — the first an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Indian Ocean nation of Seychelles on March 22 — after his U20 international team-mate Valentine Ozornwafor was included in the original 23-man squad.

The 19-year-old has heavily impressed with Enyimba and the Nigeria U20 team. He was named in the 2019 AFCON U20 team of the tournament.

The game against Seychelles is a dead rubber, and Rohr will be expected to hand some uncapped players their debut. That means Utin could make his first Super Eagles appearance in the match.

Two days after facing Seychelles, the Super Eagles will meet the Pharaohs of Egypt in a friendly.