Deportivo goalkeeper Uzoho delight at Nigeria call-up

Francis Uzoho
Deportivo's Francis Uzoho, 19, became the youngest foreign goalkeeper to play in La Liga

Deportivo La Coruna goalkeeper Francis Uzoho has paid tribute to the Spanish club after earning his maiden call-up to Nigeria's senior squad.

Uzoho, 19, has been named in the 24-man squad to take on Algeria in a World Cup qualifier and then a friendly against Argentina this month.

"It probably wouldn't have happened if I hadn't been promoted to the first team at Deportivo," he told BBC Sport.

"They've really helped me and hopefully I can repay the faith," he added.

Uzoho's national call-up comes off the back of a strong start to his Deportivo career and Nigeria's quest for additional goalkeepers.

He became the youngest foreign goalkeeper to ever play in La Liga last month.

"I feel I owe the former manager [Pepe Mel] a lot as well and I am grateful to the players and management of the second team and senior side and I thank God for his favours," said Uzoho.

Leicester City trio of Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa plus Arsenal's Alex Iwobi join captain and China-based John Mikel Obi in a strong Super Eagles side.

In-form Henry Onyekuru, who has scored seven goals this season on loan at Belgian side Anderlecht from Everton, returns as part of an experienced 24-man squad named by coach Gernot Rohr.

He has also handed a maiden call-up to Norway-based Chidiebere Nwakali, who like Uzoho, won the U-17 World Cup with Nigeria in 2013.

Chelsea's Victor Moses is still recovering from a hamstring injury, while coach Rohr will also be without injured regular left-back Elderson Echiejile and striker Odion Ighalo.

Nigeria have already qualified for next year's finals in Russia with both Moses and Echiejile a key figure.

After facing Algeria in Constantine on 10 November, Nigeria travel to Russian city of Krasnodar for the friendly with Argentina on 14 November.

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