Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr yesterday rolled out his list of invited 23 players for the dead-rubber 2019 Africa Cup of Nations clash with Seychelles and the international friendly against Egypt with Kelechi Iheanacho one of the biggest names left out of the squad.
Both matches are scheduled to hold on March 22 against the Pirates of Seychelles and four days later with the Pharaohs of Egypt at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.
Iheanacho who fortunes have dipped at Leicester City since arriving at the Kings Power Stadium from Manchester City is increasingly finding it difficult breaking into the Foxes first XI this season.
The 22-year old U-17 World Cup winner with Nigeria at UAE in 2013 has only made just nine Premiership starts from a possible 29 games. Top marksman, Jamie Vardy is well above him in the pecking order of attackers at the club.
It therefor did not appear as a surprise that Iheanacho is left out of an almost inconsequential fixtures against Seychelles and Egypt.
The case of skipper John Mikel Obi not invited for the two matches is understandable as the former Chelsea stalwart is just picking up form at Middlesbrough after his sojourn in the Chinese Super League with Tianjin Teda.
Both Watford’s Isaac Success and Porto loanee Mikel Agu not invited for the two games have similar poor form like Iheanacho.
Topping the list of those invited is Saudi Arabia-based stand-in captain Ahmed Musa and in-form CD Leganes of Spain defender Kenneth Omeruo.
Other usual suspects in Rohr’s list include; Leon Balogun, Abdullahi Shehu and William Ekong.
Invited midfielders and forwards include; Oghenekaro Etebo, Wilfred Ndidi, Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi and Moses Simon.
The Franco-German gaffer also named Flying Eagles and Enyimba’s defender Valentine Ozornwafor, as well as former Under-17 World Cup winner, Victor Osimhen and Denmark-based Paul Onuachu.
The Super Eagles will confront Seychelles in a largely-ceremonial session at the Stephen Keshi Stadium on Friday, 22nd March, starting from 4pm, and then tackle the Pharaohs of Egypt at the same venue in a prestige international friendly four days later.
According to NFF’s Director of Communication, Ademola Olajire, “all the invited players, alongside technical and backroom crew, are expected to report in the Delta State capital on Monday, 18th March 2019.”
THE FULL LIST
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, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany)
Midfielders: Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar 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, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark)