Crotone of Italy forward, Simeon Nwankwo says he will prove he is worthy of a place in the Super Eagles following his surprise inclusion in the 30-man provisional list for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Nwankwo, 26, and Kano Pillars striker, Junior Lokossa are the notable first-time call-ups in the list released by Nigeria head coach, Gernot Rohr on Monday who overlooked the likes of Brown Ideye, Junior Ajayi and Sadiq Umar.
The former Gil Vicente of Portugal player has earned rave reviews recently following his impressive performances for Crotone in the Italian Serie A.
He has scored seven goals in 22 league appearances for the club this season an improvement from the three he netted in 21 league games last term.
The striker however has a tough task in his hands as regards making the final 23 for the mundial with forwards, Odion Ighalo, Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa all favoured to be on the plane to Russia.
“The last few days have been a good one for me, my club and family. I have received a lot of congratulatory messages on the invitation and I’m happy with the way things have turned out for me so far,” Nwankwo stated in an interview with Lagos based radio station, Brila Fm monitored by CSN.
“Playing at the World Cup is the dream of every player . This is an opportunity for me to showcase my talent and prove myself to the coaches.
“Already, we have some friendly matches lined up before the World Cup which is a big opportunity for every player to fight for a place in the team, especially those of us coming into the team for the first time
“I will give my best and see what happens at the end of the day.”
The Super Eagles are expected to begin preparation for Russia 2018 on May 22 in Uyo where they will train for a couple of days before proceeding to Port Harcourt for a friendly match against Democratic Republic of Congo on May 28.
The Three-time African champions will play in Group D in Russia along with Argentina, Croatia and Iceland.