Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr has dropped England based duo Semi Ajayi and Kelechi Iheanacho from his squad as he announced a final 23-man team for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Rohr had named a 25-man provisional list for the tournament last month with many questioning the inclusion of Iheanacho especially, who has had a poor season in England.
Both Rotherham star Ajayi – a defender who can also play as a defensive midfielder – and Leicester City’s Iheanacho did not play any part in the Super Eagles’ 0-0 draw with Zimbabwe on Saturday night.
Rohr said after the game that the coaching team already had their choice in mind and the game would not change it.
“You cannot judge with one game and with this conditions. So, we already had our opinion before the game because it was a long season and we observed the players.
“Also, we observed them in the training sessions during the week. We had seven training sessions and we could see how is the fitness and the confidence of the players to make judgements,” Rohr told www.aclsports.com
The selected twenty-three players and coaching staff will leave Nigeria for Egypt on Sunday for their final round of preparation before the competition kicks off on June 21.
Nigeria are in Group B alongside debutants Burundi, Madagascar and Guinea.
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 & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany);
Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Middlesbrough FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar FC, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi SC, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China); Alexander Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain)