Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr on Wednesday omitted China-based trio Mikel Obi, Odion Ighalo and Brown Ideye from his call-ups for this month’s friendly games against Senegal and Burkina Faso.
The Super Eagles face Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinalists Senegal’s Teranga Lions on March 23 before taking on Burkina Faso’s Etalons, who came third in the Gabon tournament, four days later. Both matches will be played in London.
Rohr had promised to invite the players, who joined the China exodus for megabucks, but the German sensationally omitted them from his 25-man squad for the friendlies.
Mikel, who is the captain of the national team, joined Chinese Super League club Tianjin Teda for a reported £140,000-a-week deal in January after being frozen out of Chelsea’s first team by the Blues’ Italian manager Antonio Conte.
Ighalo joined the gold rush in China when he dumped Premier League strugglers Watford for Changchun Yatai for a reported £180,000 per week wage. And Ideye completed the Nigerian player exodus to the Far East after he ditched Greek champions Olympiakos to team up with Mikel at Tianjin TEDA on Tuesday.
However, reports claimed that Mikel pleaded with Rohr to leave him out of the encounters to enable him to settle down at his new home.
But Rohr has kept faith with Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, Ogenyi Onazi, Kenneth Omeruo, Elderson Echiejile, as well as Premier League forwards Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi and Isaac Success for the fixtures.
Germany-based defender Leon Balogun, Belgium-based defender William Troost-Ekong, Leicester City new boy Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, John Ogu and Moses Simon made the list.
In-form Hannover 96 midfielder Noah-Joel Bazee, 20, who has hit the back of the net once for his German Bundesliga side this term, topped the list of new young players invited by Rohr.
Portugal-based defender Chidozie Awaziem, 20, ADO Den Haag’s rising star Tyronne Ebuehi, 21, and Wolfsburg forward Victor Osimhen, 19, are other young players listed for the encounters.
Goalkeepers: Ikeme (Wolves); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United); Ikechukwu Ezenwa ( IfeanyiUbah)
Defenders: Balogun (Mainz 05); Troost-Ekong (Gent); Kenneth Omeruo (Alanyaspor); Uche Agbo (Granada); Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Musa Muhammed (Zeljeznicar, Bosnia); Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag); Echiejile (Gijon); Kingsley Madu (Zulte Waregem); Chidozie Awaziem ( Porto)
Midfielders: Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor); Ndidi (Leicester); Etebo (Feirense, Portugal); Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva)
Forwards: Musa (Leicester); Iheanacho (Man City); Simon (Gent); Moses (Chelsea); Iwobi (Arsenal); Success (Watford); Bazee (Hannover 96); Osimhen (Wolfsburg)
Sourced from Punch