Coach Gernot Rohr names the 23-strong squad for the AFCON qualifier
During the weekend, Nigerian head coach Gernot Rohr has released a full list of players who will be in contention for the upcoming African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying game against Seychelles. The same squad will be there for the friendly game against Egypt.
The AFCON qualifier is scheduled for March 22nd, 2019 and four days later The Super Eagles will take on Egypt in a friendly game, on March 26th, 2019.
Coach Rohr didn’t change his three standard goalkeepers but has made a few changes in other positions on the pitch.
One of the most notable absences is once again Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel. It’s not clear why he is not on the squad list, as he has played well for Middlesbrough. Apparently, he has yet to settle at his new team which has impacted his decision whether to play for Nigeria in these two matches.
Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho has been dropped by the coach. He has not been in any kind of good form this season, mostly coming off the bench in the later stages of the game.
Another forward, the young Samuel Chukwueze, was also one of the surprise omissions. Even though he has been one of the best young players in Europe earlier in the season, he has dropped in form and rarely gets any game time for Villareal.
Lokomotiv Moscow defender Bryan Idowu has also been omitted from the roster as he has had little playing time in the last few months. Midfielder Mikel Agu has not been called up due to his injury.
One player will be making his debut with the Super Eagles and that’s Paul Onuachu. He is currently playing for FC Midtjylland in Denmark.
Apart from the Katsina United goalkeeper Ezenwa, there is only one other player from the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) who has been called up. Valentine Ozornwafor will also be making his debut with the senior squad. He has recently been a part of the Flying Eagles squad who played in the 2019 Under-20 AFCON in Niger this February.
The full squad list:
Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, S. Africa); Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United, Nigeria);
Kenneth Omeruo (Leganes, Spain); William Ekong (Udinese, Italy); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); Leon Balogun (Brighton, England); Jamilu Collins (SC Paderborn, Germany); Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba, Nigeria);
Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)
Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray, Turkey); Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Charleroi, Belgium); Paul Onuachu (Midtjyland, Denmark); Moses Simon (Levante, Spain); Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal, England); Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux, France)