Nigeria: Joel Obi Returns As Rohr Snubs Martins, Ajiboye

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Nigeria: Joel Obi Returns As Rohr Snubs Martins, Ajiboye

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has rewarded Torino midfielder Joel Obi with a recall to the Super Eagles after four years in the international wilderness.

The 26-year-old, whose electric start to his career at Inter Milan was ruined by injuries, has continued his blistering form for Torino this season since returning to the field after missing the first half of the 2015–16 season.

Rohr proved he has been monitoring Obi’s performance in the Italian Serie A this season as he on Wednesday named him in his 28-man squad for Nigeria’s friendly matches against Poland and Serbia ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup.

The Eagles face Poland in Wroclaw on March 23 before travelling to London to clash against Serbia four days later.

Obi, who has scored four Serie A goals in 15 appearances for the Bulls this term, will look to gatecrash Rohr’s 23-man World Cup squad with a sensational showing in the friendlies.

Rohr kept faith with the players who helped him realise his dream of securing a World Cup ticket for Nigeria.

Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, Victor Moses, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Abdullahi Shehu, Leon Balogun, William Ekong, Elderson Echiejile, Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi made the list.

Turkey-based defender Kenneth Omeruo was handed an opportunity to stake his claim for a World Cup place after he was omitted from the majority of the Russia 2018 qualifiers.

Al Ahly forward Junior Ajayi’s impressive showing in Egypt earned him his first call-up to the senior team.

Young Deportivo La Coruna keeper Francis Uzoho is on the list alongside much-vilified South Africa-based goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi and Russia-based defender Brian Idowu, as well as CHAN 2018 stars Stephen Ezeh and Gabriel Okechukwu.

Obafemi Martins’ hopes of playing in the World Cup for the second time were dashed as Rohr ignored calls for the 33-year-old China-based forward to be given a chance to play his way into the team.

The Former Gabon manager also shunned veteran Israel-based goalkeeper Austin Ejide, Hapoel Be’er Sheva forward Anthony Nwakaeme, new Shakhtar Donetsk forward Kayode Olanrewaju, Chidiebere Nwakali, Dele Ajiboye, who was touted for a place in the squad, and Scotland-based defender Efe Ambrose.

As published by Punchng

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