Watford striker Emmanuel Dennis has been included in Nigeria’s preliminary squad for the African Cup of Nations.
The forward’s chances of getting a call up for the competition have been boosted, not only by his performances this season, but also by a change of manager.
Nigeria parted ways with Gernot Rohr earlier this month and replaced him with Austin Eguavoen, who is seemingly more keen on including Dennis than his predecessor.
Previously, the 24-year-old’s chances of representing his nation in Cameroon in January looked slim, with several options ahead of him in the pecking order.
However, seven goals and five assists this season have put him in a strong position.
Additionally, Nigeria’s top goalscorer Paul Onuachu is now expected to miss the tournament with an injury, leaving the Super Eagles in need of a replacement.
The Genk forward has 12 goals from 18 appearances this season, but had to be substituted on Sunday during a 1-1 draw with Royal Antwerp with a hamstring problem.
Nigeria will shortly have to decide whether or not Dennis will be included in their final 28-man squad.
Should he be picked, he would play alongside teammate William Troost-Ekong, who Eguavoen is keen to help improve.
The centre back has made several mistakes already this season, but the Nigeria boss told Brila FM they would help him rediscover his confidence.
“Our psychologist has a big role to play as does the Coaches and the entire team to help lift the confidence of Troost-Ekong,” Eguavoen said.
“He’s also a very strong player and we trust we can help him come through this rough patch.”