By G9ija

Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr is delighted Rangers defender Calvin Bassey chose to represent the three-time African champions.

Bassey, 21, was named in Nigeria’s squad for this month’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying double-header against the Central African Republic on Thursday.

The left-back was born in Italy and eligible to represent the European champions and the Three Lions of England.

“I am so proud of him (Bassey) and happy that he chose Nigeria,” Rohr told ESPN.

“That is why it is important to have him quickly because it is one of the last moments we can test new players. That is why he is in our list now.”

Rohr is also hopeful there are no complications this time, with Bassey forced to withdraw from the previous squad, for the games in August against Liberia and Cape Verde after testing positive for COVID-19.

“Last time he was in our list but he couldn’t come because of a positive COVID test. He was unlucky,” Rohr said.

“Now it is October and this is the right moment, he is the only new player we have invited.

The invitation of the former Leicester City player means that FC Porto defender Zaidu Sanusi misses out on the squad, despite playing in the Champions League, although that is also down to Sanusi’s own situation at Porto, according to Rohr.

“When we had to do the list he [Sanusi] didn’t play the last five games in the club,” the coach explained. “We cannot put three left-backs in the list.

“But we know already his qualities and he will come back next time when he is playing in the club. I like this player very much but it’s also the opportunity to test a new player.”