Coach Gernot Rohr yesterday listed midfield, Mikel John Obi, pacy winger Ahmed Musa, defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Abdullahi Shehu in a 25-man squad to prepare for the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt this summer. Six other players are on standby.
Mikel, who captained the team at the FIFA World Cup finals in Russia last year summer, has not been with the group since Nigeria’s elimination from the finals after a 1-2 defeat by Argentina in Saint Petersburg. However, a recent meeting with Coach Rohr in the United Kingdom sealed his return to the three –time African champions, with the possibility of adding to his 85 international caps.
Rohr has largely kept faith with the Trojans who earned a ticket to the AFCON finals with a match to spare, with goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, defenders Leon Balogun and William Ekong, midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi and forwards Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi and Moses Simon also on the roll call.
He has put on standby six players, among them defenders Ikouwem Utin and Valentine Ozornwafor who have also been named in Nigeria’s final 21 for the FIFA U20 World Cup starting in Poland next week.
The Franco-German tactician explained that he has included the two players knowing the FIFA U20 World Cup will end on June 15, six days before the first match will be played at the AFCON.