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AFCON 2019: Mixed Feelings Trail Super Eagles Provisional Players List

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Some soccer fans and journalists have expressed divergent opinions on Super Eagles’ 25-man provisional list for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) just released by Coach Gernot Rohr.

Preparation of the senior national team towards AFCON was hot-up when Rohr released the 25-man provisional list on Tuesday for camping in Asaba.

The composition of players that made the list came as no surprise as it includes the team’s regulars, save some players which many think should not make the list.

Coach Rohr’s list NAN reports includes: 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), Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey), William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton and Hove Albion, England).

Others are Keneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Semi Ajayi (Rotherdam United, England).

Midfielders: Mikel Obi (Middlesbrough FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Beer Sheva, Israel).

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi SC, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Odion Ighalo (Shangai Shenshua, China); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey).

Alexander Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain).

Meanwhile, some have queried the inclusion of Eagles captain Mikel Obi who had yet to play for the team after their exit at the group stage of the 2018 World Cup.

Others also wondered why the inclusion of “out-of-form” Leicester City Striker, Kelechi Iheanacho, in the team.

The Super Eagles will begin their quest for the fourth glory when the biennial football hostilities takes centre stage in Egypt starting from June 21 to July 19.

The former Chairman, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) Lagos State, Fred Edoreh, in his opinion, justified the inclusion of both players, saying that the coach should know better.

“I do not think it is out of order to recall Obi to the team, any team with a blend of youthfulness and experience will surely do well at any competition.

“Inviting Mikel is good because I think his experience is also needed in the team, going by his contributions during the World Cup.

“For Kelechi Iheanacho, his invitation is a 50-50 chance because people see him as a good player who contributes to the team. For the coach, he may probably believe that he will pick up again.

“Sometimes the decision to field a player rest on the perception of the coach and more than that, it is good to give people chance. I also believe the coach wants to be successful as well,’’ he said.

Nigeria is in Group B alongside, Guinea, Burundi and Madagascar.

 

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