Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho and Middlesbrough midfielder John Obi Mikel were dropped from Nigeria‘s squad due to lack of regular playing time and non-readiness, coach Gernot Rohr has confirmed.
The Super Eagles gaffer released a 23-man list to prosecute their final 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Seychelles on March 22 and a friendly tie against Egypt four days later with both players missing.
The Leicester City star has struggled for form at the King Power Stadium this campaign having scored just a goal so far in the Premier League.
In addition to his poor form, the 22-year-old who has made 30 appearances across all competitions this season is yet to start a league match since December 8 [vs. Tottenham Hotspur].
Meanwhile, John Obi Mikel has been impressive in the Championship since he joined Middlesbrough on a short-term deal in January.
But the German tactician noted that the 31-year-old ruled himself out of this month’s international outings and also warned other players who are not playing consistently at their various clubs ahead of the country’s participation in the continental showpiece that will take place in Egypt later in June.
“Kelechi [Iheanacho] needs to play in his club. He also needs to take advantage of the international truce to show his qualities to his new coach,” Rohr told Caf website.
“I give him time but there is danger for the Africa Cup of Nations for those who do not play regularly in their club. The final list for the Afcon is far from being made for anyone.
“He [Mikel] has arrived in Middlesbrough recently. He told me he was not ready and needs to work after his knee injury in China. He did not play all winter either. goal.com
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