Nigeria national team coach, Gernot Rohr, has defended his decision to invite Calvin Bassey instead of Zaidu Sanusi, for this month’s World Cup qualification matches against Central African Republic.

Rohr explained that it was due to Sanusi’s lack of playing time at Porto.

On Thursday, the German coach announced his 23-man squad for the double header.

After featuring in the Super Eagles‘ 2-1 comeback win over Cape Verde Islands in September, Sanusi is yet to play in the Primeira Liga with his last two appearances coming in the Uefa Champions League (vs. Liverpool and Atletico Madrid).

Bassey, on the other hand, played in Rangers’ last three matches and he has made eight appearances across all competitions so far this season.

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

“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.

“There will be big competition but it is good to know that Bassey can also play central defence. We don’t have any left-footed central defenders, what we have is only five right-footed central defenders.”