Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has decided there is no need to stress team captain John Obi Mikel over the forth coming AFCON qualifier against Seychelles and the friendly match against Egypt respectively.
Rohr who is looking to parade a formidable team at the 2019 Nations Cup in Egypt released a 23-man team for the two matches on Monday leaving out the Super Eagles captain who only recently joined Championship side Middlesbrough after quitting Chinese super league side Tiajin Teda.
The decision is not unconnected with the need to allow the former Chelsea star stablise in his new club where he has already made an instant impact.
Also left out of the squad is embattled Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho. The former Manchester City ace has been struggling to maintain a regular place at the King Power Stadium, starting most of the times from the bench. Teammate Wilfred Ndidi who has been enjoying regular playing slot at Leicester however made the squad.
Ndidi it will be recalled missed the last qualifier against South Africa following a caution card.
The tie against Seychelles is a mere shape up match with Eagles already qualified for the Nations Cup. In the first leg played in September last year in Seychelles, Eagles recorded an emphatic 3-0 victory with Odion Ighalo, Chidozie Awaziem and Ahmed Musa on target.
Samuel Kalu who made Rohr’s 23-man team will however need to ginger his spirit at a time when efforts are still being made to rescue his mother Madam Ozuruonye Juliet Kalu from Kidnappers den.
His case is like a replay of the experience Mikel had during the World cup in Russia when he had to endure the pain of his father’s kidnap to play
Nigeria’s match while efforts eventually yielded fruits as security agents rescued his father.
Here is a list of players invited for the Seychelles and Pharaohs ties billed for 22nd and 26th March respectively