Egyptian National team coach, Javier Aguirre, has disclosed the reason he left out reigning African Footballer of the Year, Mohamed Salah, from his squad list to face Nigeria in an international friendly on Tuesday.
Speaking in Asaba, the coach revealed that he omitted the forward deliberately so he can assess other players ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
“I deliberately left Salah and some other top players out of the game because I want to watch new discoveries," Aguirre told a press conference ahead of the match.
“I use the game against Niger and the one against Nigeria to see what they can bring to the table ahead of the final 23 for the AFCON. It was my decision to check new players."
The 60-year-old sees the game as another important one in their preparation for the tournament they will host in the summer.
“Nigeria is a country that loves football and the atmosphere already shows that it is going to be a special match."
“It is an opportunity for both sides as they are already preparing for the AFCON, it is going to be a good test for the two teams.”
The Pharaohs have been in superb form since the Mexican was appointed as Hector Cuper's replacement. They have won four of their five games under him, with the only blemish being a 1-1 draw against Niger last Friday.