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Iheanacho And Semi Ajayi Dropped From Eagles AFCON Squad
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Iheanacho And Semi Ajayi Dropped From Eagles AFCON Squad

Felix Egbomuche

Felix Egbomuche

Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho and Rotherham United defender turned midfielder Semi Ajayi have reportedly been axed from the Super Eagles squad heading to the Nations Cup in Egypt.

Both players were unused substitutes in Nigeria's friendly against Zimbabwe on Saturday at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba that ended in a goalless draw.

Although no official confirmation yet from the NFF as at the time of reporting, various sources on social media and other places suggests the two youngsters have been sacrificed by coach Gernot Rohr.

Iheanacho's exclusion from the team would come as little surprise to many after his recent poor form for both the national team and his English club side.

Rohr preferred to head to the tournament with the trio of Odion Ighalo, Paul Onuachu and Victor Osimhen who have had good seasons with their club's in Europe and Asia.

Iheanacho And Semi Ajayi Dropped From Eagles AFCON Squad

The shock, however, is Rohr letting go of Semi Ajayi who had a good season with his club in the English championship and was considered one of the utility players of the squad.

But again, when you look closely at the team, you'd see why he was maybe the easy pick for the German tactician. As a midfielder, Ajayi isn't better than the quartet of John Mikel Obi, Wilfred Ndidi, Ogenekaro Etebo or John Ogu.

It's the same for the central defensive position where Troost-Ekong, William Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo and Chigozie Awaziem are all above him in the pecking order.

The right-back position is another place he could have slotted in but the Super Eagles are covered in that area by first choice, Shehu Abdullahi and Torino's Ola Aina.

Iheanacho And Semi Ajayi Dropped From Eagles AFCON Squad

The Rest Of The Squad:

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa).

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Paderborn 07, Germany).

Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Middlesbrough FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel).

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar FC, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi SC, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China); Alexander Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain).

The team is expected to depart Asaba for Egypt later on Sunday where they will finalize preparations for the tournament.