Eagles final list: Chelsea star and Mikel Agu chopped off

Eagles final list: Chelsea star and Mikel Agu chopped off

Chelsea full back Ola Aina and Bursaspor midfielder Ndubuisi Mikel Agu were the final exclusions in the Nigerian squad as head coach Gernot Rohr released his 23-man squad on Sunday morning.

Nigeria lost 1-2 to England in a pre-World Cup friendly on Saturday in London and Rohr had stated that he will prune his players down to twenty-three after the game at the Wembley Stadium.

Aina, who was on loan at Hull City last season was initially reported to have been dropped from the Nigerian squad last week but made the trip to London following question marks about Tyronne Ebuehi’s fitness. The Benfica star featured for forty-five minutes on Saturday, effectively dashing the hopes of his friend, Aina.

The final player to be chopped off is Agu who misses out to under-fire Joel Obi. A decent performance in Monday’s friendly against Congo Democratic Republic was not enough for the former FC Porto star to persuade Rohr against picking Torino’s Obi.

Leicester City star Wilfred Ndidi was named in the final squad despite just resuming full training last Friday. Rohr would hope that the defensive midfielder will be fit enough to play some part in their final friendly against Czech Republic in Austria on Wednesday.

Despite boasting of a very young squad, Nigeria still have the experience of players with World Cup appearances to call on. Captain John Mikel Obi, vice captain Ogenyi Onazi, centre back Kenneth Omeruo, wingers Victor Moses and Ahmed Musa all featured at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil while left back Elderson Echiejile is the only surviving member of the squad to South Africa 2010.

Nigeria will face Croatia in their Group D opener in Kaliningrad on June 16 before further group games against Iceland and Argentina in Volgograd and St. Petersburg respectively.

THE SQUAD

Goalkeepers
Odinaka Francis Uzoho (RC Deportivo)
Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United)
Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba)

Defenders
Tyronne Ebuehi (Benfica)
Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor)
Bryan Idowu (Amkar Perm)
Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugges)
William Troost-Ekong (Bursaspor)
Leon Balogun (Brighton and Hove Albion)
Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa)
Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes)

Midfielders
Mikel John Obi (Tianjin TEDA)
Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City)
Ogenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas)
John Ogu (Hapoel Beer’Sheva)
Joel Obi (Torino)
Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor)
Alex Iwobi (Arsenal)

Forwards
Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai)
Victor Moses (Chelsea)
Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City)
Simeon Nwankwo (Crotone)
Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moskva)

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