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Frank Onyeka in Nigeria Cup of Nations squad

International call-up for midfield player

29 December 2021

Brentford midfield player Frank Onyeka will be heading to a major international tournament at the start of 2022. The 23-year-old, who turns 24 on Saturday, New Year’s Day, 1 January, has been named in the Nigeria squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations. He will join up with his international team mates after Brentford face Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday.

The tournament gets underway next Sunday, 9 January, and runs for four weeks. Frank and Nigeria are in Group D along with Egypt, Guinea-Bissau and Sudan. Their first game is on 11 January against Egypt, and they follow that with matches against Sudan, on 15 January, and Guinea-Bissau, on 19 January.

There will be 24 teams kicking off the tournament and 16 will compete in the knock-out stages. The Second Round begins on 23 January and the Africa Cup of Nations Final will be held on Sunday 6 February. Frank will return to Brentford when Nigeria are eliminated.

The midfield player has been a regular for The Bees in the Premier League this season. He has been involved in 15 of Brentford’s 17 Premier League games, starting nine of them. He has made 19 appearances in all competitions since joining from FC Midtjylland in the summer.

Frank made his international debut for Nigeria last year and now has four caps for his country. Three of them have come since he joined The Bees. When he played for Nigeria in October, Frank became the 50th Brentford player to have won a full international cap while on our books.

He could join another elite group of players in the next weeks. Only two others – Kamohelo Mokotjo, of South Africa, and Julian Jeanvier for Guinea – have played in the Africa Cup of Nations. Both did so in 2019. Frank may also join a list that also includes Mathias Jensen, Christian Nørgaard, Henrik Dalsgaard, Marcus Forss and Halil Dervişoğlu, to have appeared in an international tournament.

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