Brentford midfield player Frank Onyeka will wear the number 8 shirt for Nigeria at the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations. The 24-year-old is with his national team preparing for the upcoming tournament. Squad numbers were announced earlier this week and Frank was handed the number 8 shirt.
The tournament gets underway today, 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 Tuesday, 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 17 of Brentford’s 19 Premier League games, starting 11 of them. He was an unused substitute in one other match. Frank has made 21 appearances in all competitions since joining from FC Midtjylland in the summer and contributed two assists.
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.