Has Super Eagles captain John obi Mikel retired from the national team without making it public?

That is the question on the lips of many as the Technical Adviser for the national team Gernot Rohr on Monday reeled out the list of players for next month’s crucial 2019 AFCON qualifying match against South Africa and the friendly against Uganda.

Mikel for the unpteenth time was conspicoolsy missing as Rohr called up stand –in Captain Ahmed Musa and 22 other players.

Why it was understandable that Mikel was omitted last term out against Libya because of fitness issues, the same excuse may not be plausible now since the former Chelsea star was seen in action over the weekend and even scored for Tianjin TEDA.

While Mikel is missing in the mix, former U17 World Cup – winning forward Victor Osimhen is back after a long time out, with another U17 World Cup winning forward Samuel Chukwueze earning a first call.

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Midfielder Mikel Agu, who played some part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, and home –based defender Adeleye Olamilekan Aniyikaye are also called; otherwise the Franco –German tactician has kept faith with the group that decimated Libya’s Mediterranean Knights over two legs earlier this month.

Nigeria, top of the Group E of the series with nine points battle eight –pointer and second –placed South Africa at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg on Saturday, 17th November in one of the Matchday 5 fixtures.

Victory in the top-of-the-table encounter will automatically send the Eagles to the finals in Cameroon, with the second ticket in Group E

Super Eagles

to be down to a fierce call between the Bafana and the Knights.

The Super Eagles will fly from Johannesburg to Asaba on 18th November for the friendly with the Cranes on 20th November.

All the invited players are expected to report direct in Asaba on Monday, 12th November.


THE FULL LIST

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Elche FC, Spain); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa)

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Adeleye Aniyikaye (FC IfeanyiUbah); Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England); Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany)

Midfielders: Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal FC, Portugal)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nasr FC, Saudi Arabia); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi SC, Belgium); Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux FC, France); Isaac Success (Watford FC, England); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain)

Standby: Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal); Nyima Nwagua (Kano Pillars FC); Sunday Adetunji (Enyimba FC); Junior Lokosa (Kano Pillars FC)