…Mikel, Iheanacho dropped
Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr has invited interim captain, Ahmed Musa and 22 other players for the tie against Seychelles and Egypt slated this month, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said on Monday.
The Eagles will host the Pirates of Seychelles in their final match of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers on March 22 and Egypt’s Pharaohs in a friendly on March 26.
NFF’s Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire said in a statement that defender Kenneth Omeruo of CD Leganes of Spain has been invited alongside regulars Leon Balogun, Abdullahi Shehu and William Ekong.
Midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi, as well as forwards Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi and Moses Simon were also called up.
Meanwhile, Eagles’ skipper, Mikel Obi and Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho were not included in the list.
While Mikel was probably dropped to allow him settle at his new club Middlesbrough after quitting Chinese super league side Tiajin Teda, speculations are that Iheanacho’s non inclusion is not unconnected to lack of playing time at the premier league side.
Surprisingly, Torino‘s Ola Aina who got injured during a pre-match warm-up exercise in Sunday’s game against Chievo was named as part of the squad.
Rohr has also invited to camp Flying Eagles’ defender Valentine Ozornwafor, as well as well as former FIFA Under-17 World Cup winner Victor Osimhen and Denmark-based Paul Onuachu.
All invited players, alongside technical and backroom crew, are to report in the Delta State capital on Monday, March 18.
See full list below:
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa)
Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba FC); Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, UK); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany)
Midfielders: Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, UK); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, UK); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, UK); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr FC, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Charleroi SC, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, UK); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark).