Nigeria Captain John Mikel Obi celebrates Credit: Courtesy Photo
Nigeria Captain John Mikel Obi could feature at Afcon 2019 Credit: Courtesy Photo

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has recalled team captain John Mikel Obi to the team ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

The former Chelsea midfielder, 32, hasn’t featured for the Super Eagles since the 2018 World Cup in Russia and missed several Afcon qualifiers.

He made the 25-man squad that will be trimmed to 23 before the tournament after playing a friendly against Uganda Cranes opponents Zimbabwe on June 8.

Rohr has maintained most of the team that featured in the qualifiers and also played most of the qualifiers with experienced forwards Ahmed Musa, Wilfred Ndidi and Leon Balogun all included.

The German has also named six players on a standby list ahead of the training camp in Asaba between June 2-9.

The three-time champions, returning to the tournament for the first time since 2013 when they won it are in Group B alongside Guinea, Madagascar and Burundi.

Nigeria’s opening match will be against Burundi on 22 June at the Alexandria Stadium, Alexandria.

Nigeria’s 25-man provisional squad:

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, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England)

Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Middlesbrough, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China); Alexander Iwobi (Arsenal, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjylland, Denmark); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal, Spain)

Standby: Theophilus Afelokhai (Enyimba FC); Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Ikouwem Utin (Enyimba); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal, Portugal); Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly, Egypt); Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba FC)

Ismael Kiyonga

Senior Staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering football

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