Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr on Tuesday, May 14 released a 25-man provisional squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Rohr has called up 25 players for the provisional squad which he will cut down to the final 23 just before AFCON 2019.
These are five things we learnt from the squad
1. Mikel Obi returns
After much debate about his future with the Super Eagles, it has been confirmed that Mikel Obi does have at least one final tournament with the national team.
Mikel was included in the squad after a one-year absence.
2. Iheanacho gets another chance
After dropping Iheanacho from the squad for Super Eagles last games-against Seychelles and Egypt- Rohr sent a warning to the Leicester City forward.
"We are not really satisfied with his performances in the last time and I think he has to be more professional,” Rohr said during a press conference when he was asked by a Pulse Sports reporter why he left out the 22-year-old year.
“It's not good all the time to be funny. You must show that you are serious, working every day in the training session and show that you are to come back in the team, at the club and also with us.”
The comment from Rohr showed that the Super Eagles boss was as frustrated with Iheanacho as many who have seen him decline over the years.
To shore up Rohr’s frustration, Iheanacho managed just nine starts in 30 league games for Leicester City all season with just one goal.
But despite, Rohr’s public show of disappointment in Iheanacho and the forward’s underwhelming season, he has gotten another chance to be with the Super Eagles.
3. Jamilu Collins is Rohr’s first choice option for left back
Collins’ invitation to the national team was confusing to many. Playing in German division two with no standout impact, he wasn’t the name that excited anyone.
Six games later, nothing has changed with the 24-year-old delivering average performances.
Rohr, however, remains a fan of the Paderborn left back who is expected to be Super Eagles first-choice left-back at AFCON 2019. Although there is Ola Aina in the squad who often plays from the left side of the defence, Collins remains the only left-footed defender in the team and that is enough for him to snag a place in the XI.
4. Samuel Chukwueze to make his AFCON debut
It was a long couple of weeks for a decision to be made on where Chukwueze was going to spend his summer. Playing for the Flying Eagles at the 2019 FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland or with the Super Eagles at AFCON 2019 in Egypt.
Unsure of his place in Rohr’s team, the Villarreal star reportedly wanted to play in Poland on a world stage albeit in the U20 level. Flying Eagles coach Paul Aigbogun wanted him too and had reportedly reached an agreement with Rohr and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) but the new development suggests that the 19-year-old will be crucial to Rohr’s plans for AFCON 2019.
5. Osimen Vs Onuachu
While the job of cutting the squad down to 23 men, Rohr could have a hard time choosing between Victor Osimhen and Paul Onuachu as back up for his first-choice striker Odion Ighalo.
Rohr is a known admirer of Osimhen, handing call up to the youngster even before he settled in Europe.
But Onuachu showed during his first time with the Super Eagles that he is good enough.
He has been the highest-scoring Nigeria for the past three seasons and after his performance against Egypt during the last international break, he can't be ignored anymore.