Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho and Semi Ajayi of English club Rotherham United are the two players dropped by coach Gernot Rohr from the Super Eagles squad for the AFCON 2019 in Egypt. Iheanacho has struggled for game time at his Premier League club, while defender or defensive midfielder Semi Ajayi was up against more experienced players who play at bigger clubs.
Rohr has all of this week hinted that club form will be a major determinant in the players on the final squad to Egypt 2019.
Top officials have reportedly ordered that Iheanacho for one should be on the flight to Egypt, but Rohr insisted that there is fierce competition among the strikers on the squad and “gifts” will not be handed out to any player.
He also said Iheanacho is lacking self-belief and has been unhappy.
Rohr did not play the former Manchester City star in last night’s warm-up against Zimbabwe to finally seal his decision to leave him out of the party to Egypt.
The rest of the provisional squad are therefore safe and will fly out to Egypt later today from Asaba on a chartered flight.
They will fly out along with the Warriors of Zimbabwe by 4 pm local time.
The Eagles will set up a training base in Ismailia, where they will play a final warm-up game against Senegal on Sunday, June 16.
Below is Rohr’s 23-man list for 2019 Afcon:
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 Paderborn 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)