Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr has praised the young players in the Super Eagles squad for stepping into the shoes of Victor Moses and Stoke City’s John Obi Mikel.
While Moses ended his international career a month after the 2018 World Cup, his former teammate at the Blues, Mikel followed suit a year later after captaining the Super Eagles at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
In addition, Manchester United’s Odion Ighalo is no longer available for selection after quitting the team last year.
Rohr highlighted that his young team are on the brink of qualifying for the 2021 AFCON, needing two points from their remaining two fixtures.
“We have the youngest team in Africa at the moment, some experienced players like Victor Moses or John Obi Mikel have ended their careers,” Rohr said to Mannheimer Morgen.
“As a result, the upheaval is in full swing, but it’s going well: our young players have great qualities.
“In qualifying for the Africa Cup, we are at the top of our group ahead of Benin and need one point from two games. We’d have to do that.”
Nigeria, Africa’s most successful World Cup team in terms of points accumulated, are aiming to qualify for their fourth consecutive tournament, Qatar 2022.
“Before the tournament in Cameroon, the World Cup qualification against Liberia, Cape Verde and the Central African Republic will start in May.
“We have to be group winners to qualify for the World Cup play-offs,” concluded Rohr.