Etinosa Irabor, Lagos
Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, has declared that, two top players of the national team, Victor Moses and Mikel Obi, were deliberately kept out of the squad for the double header games in Asaba for obvious reasons.
Neither player was named in the Super Eagles’ squad for their upcoming matches against the Seychelles and Egypt. The former is a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, while the latter is a friendly. Both games will be played in Asaba.
Moses remains retired from international football, calling time on his Nigeria career after the 2018 World Cup in Russia last year. Moses is enjoying a new lease of life at Turkish side Fenerbahce, for whom he has scored two goals in the last six matches in the Super Lig, and there was speculation he was to be recalled for this month’s games against Seychelles and Egypt, which has not happened.
Having represented the Super Eagles at the World Cup, Moses called time on his international career in August 2018, citing family and career concerns.
There was speculation that he could return to the Super Eagles set up after showing some fine form for loan club Fenerbahce, and Rohr is open to the player resuming his international career.
Speaking to the official website of Confederation of African Football, Rohr said: “I was against his international retirement and, if he changed his mind, he must tell me but I have no information about it. We’ll see.”
On the situation of his captain John Obi Mikel, who was omitted from the latest selection, the German manager added: “He 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. He is not ruled out for the AFCON but could not make that match in Asaba. We will see for the future.”
The Super Eagles manager also explained reasons behind the exclusion of Kelechi Iheanacho from the Eagles latest list of players for the double header in Asaba. He noyed that since the start of 2019, Iheanacho has accumulated a paltry 56 minutes in the Premier League from a possible 900 minutes, meaning he would have been lacking match fitness coming into the two games.
”Kelechi needs to play with his club. He also needs to take advantage of the international break to show his qualities to his new coach,” Rohr explained to CAF’s official website.
”I give him time but there is danger for the AFCON for those who do not play regularly in their club. The final list for the AFCON is far from being made for anyone.”