Akwa United striker Gabriel Okechukwu has been rewarded for his impressive form at last month’s Africa Nations Championship with a call-up to Nigeria’s senior squad for the friendly matches against Poland and Serbia this month.

Okechukwu returns to the Super Eagles side for the first time since 2015. 

In May 2015, he was called up for Nigeria’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier to play against Chad national football team. 

Midfielder Joel Obi, who is enjoying a brilliant campaign with Torino, also makes a return to the team after a long absence, while goalkeeper Francis Uzoho and Brown Idowu have received second consecutive invitations.

Al Ahly forward Junior Ajayi has received a debut call-up following his exploits in last season’s CAF Champions league.

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has also named captain Mikel Obi, Victor Moses and Ahmed Musa in the 28-man squad released on Wednesday.

However, Malaga striker Brown Ideye is once again overlooked.

Rohr’s men begin their preparations for this year’s World Cup with a friendly against Poland at the Municipal Stadium, Wroclaw on March 23, before facing Serbia at the Hive, London, four days later.

Goalkeepers : Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa)

Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Tyronne Ebuehi (Ado Den Haag, The Netherlands); Olaoluwa Aina (Hull City, England); Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge KSV, Belgium); Brian Idowu (Amkar Perm, Russia); Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC, France); William Ekong (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey); Stephen Eze (Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Bulgaria)

Midfielders : Mikel John Obi (Tianjin Teda, China); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas, Spain); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Uche Agbo (Standard Liege, Belgium); Joel Obi (Torino FC, Italy)

Forwards : Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly, Egypt); Gabriel Okechukwu (Akwa United)