By Amaechi Agbo
Super Eagles skipper, John Mikel Obi, Chelsea of England wing-back, Victor Moses and Arsenal midfielder, Alex Iwobi are among the 30-man World Cup provisional list announced by coach Gernot Rohr.
Rohr announced released the 30-man provisional squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup holding in Russia from June 14th to 15th July, yesterday.
The list also includes Spain-based goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, defenders William Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo and Olaoluwa Aina, midfielders Wilfred Ndidi, Joel Obi and John Ogu and forwards Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon and Alex Iwobi.
Chelsea wingback Moses was Nigeria’s top scorer in the qualifying campaign with three goals, while Captain Mikel Obi, Iwobi, Simon and Iheanacho weighed in with two goals each.
Italian Serie A rave of the moment striker, Simy Nwankwo who has dominated the tabloids in Italy, Plateau United’s goal keeper, Dele Ajiboye as well as Bulgarian based defender Stephen Eze, all made the list.
Three home-based players, Ikechukwu Ezenwa (goalkeeper, Enyimba FC), Dele Ajiboye (goalkeeper, Plateau United) and Junior Lokosa (striker, Kano Pillars) made the list.
Surprise omission in the list was Junior Ajayi. The striker was in top form for Al Ahly in the Egyptian Premier League where he scored a couple of goals.
Olarenwaju Kayode, Anthony Nwakanma and Ifeanyi Matthew were all snubbed as well despite their recent impressive performances for their respective clubs
The Super Eagles are paired in Group D alongside two-time world champions, Argentina, France 1998 semi finalists, Croatia and debutant, Iceland.
Host country, Russia will tackle Saudi Arabia in the opening game in Moscow on 14 June.
All invited players have been directed to report at the Le Meridien Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo on Monday, 21st May. Uyo, as home ground, was the conquering terrain for the Super Eagles during the qualifying series.
Below is the full list:
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Carina), Dele Ajiboye (Plateau United), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United), Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC)
Defenders: William Troost Ekong (Bursaspor), Leon Balogun (Mainz), Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes), Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa), Shehu Abdullahi (Bursaspor), Tyrone Ebuehi (Ado den Haag), Ola Aina (Hull City), Elderson Echiejille (Cercle Brugge), Brian Idowu (Amkar Perm), Stephen Eze (Lokomotiv Plovdiv)
Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Tianjin Teda), Joel Obi (Torino), Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor) Etebo Oghenekaro (Las Palmas), John Ogu (Hapoel Beer Sheva), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City), Uche Agbo (Standard Liege), Mikel Agu (Bursaspor)
Forwards: Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Victor Moses (Chelsea), Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City), Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow), Junior Lokosa (Kano Pillars), Moses Simon (KAA Gent), Simy Nwankwo (Crotone)