Gernot Rohr, manager of the Super Eagles of Nigeria has selected a 25-man squad to camp ahead of the AFCON 2019 competition. Mikel Obi who last played for the Super Eagles 10 months ago and an out-of-form Kelechi Iheanacho featured in the list with the manager criticized for including the latter in the squad.
Six players have also been placed on standby incase any of the players who made the list get injured.
The players on standby include: Theophilus Afelokhai, Bryan Idowu, Ikouwem Utin, Mikel Agu, Junior Ajayi, and Valentine Ozornwafor.
Here’s a list of the Nigerians who made the list:
In goal, Francis Uzoho has been listed alongside Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi with Francis Uzoho favoured to be first choice between the sticks for the team.
For defenders, William Ekong and Leon Balogun retained their place in the team with Kenneth Omeruo the most senior in that defence line.
He midfield is packed with experienced players in the shape of Mikel Obi, John Ogu, Oghenekaro Etebo and the fantastic Liecester’s Wilfred Ndidi.
Mike’s deputy Ahmed Musa and a couple of sharp players and poachers in the shape of Samuel Kalu, Chukwueze, Moses Simon, Odion Ighalo, Victor Osimhen, Henry Onyekeru, Paul Onuachu, Kelechi Ihenacho and Ahmed Musa complete the list.
— The NFF 🇳🇬 (@thenff) May 14, 2019
Rohr has faced criticism for including Iheanacho who according to many hasn’t played enough this season to earn a call to the squad.
A Twitter user thought Kelechi Iheanacho was the one person who didn’t deserve a call-up but thought the inclusion of Mikel Obi is a welcomed idea.
Among all the players invited for the #AFCON2019. the only player that does not merit to be on the squad is Iheanacho. But I think he is lucky becoz both his club and Nigeria coaches seems to believe in him.
As for Mikel return, this is good for the team, we need him more. pic.twitter.com/Zrowbx24LH
— Ike Anthony (@Mr_grandeur) May 15, 2019
Another couldn’t wrap his head around starting Iheanacho ahead of Samuel Chukwueze who has been breaking bounds for his club side, Villarreal.
I Dnt want to imagine iheanacho playing and Samuel chukwueze will be on the bench. Damn. Iheanacho got here thru d NFF slot nothing else. When he was 'hot' I could hardly tell u his strength and selling point. Sad
— Samson d papparazy (@DPapparazy) May 15, 2019
One other said the inclusion of Iheanacho was rather due to sentiments
Iheanacho should not be on this list.. Provisional or standby … Its still goes to show Sentiment
— tHat_KiNG_MUFASA (@Original_fEMi) May 15, 2019