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John Obi Mikel heads Nigeria's Africa Cup squad

Midfielder Mikel, now with Middlesborough, last played for the country at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and missed the qualifying series for the 2019 Africa Cup.

FILE: Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel. Picture: @jomikelofficial/Twitter

ABUJA - Nigeria have included former Chelsea star John Obi Mikel in their 25-man provisional squad for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations.

Midfielder Mikel, now with Middlesborough, last played for the country at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and missed the qualifying series for the 2019 Africa Cup.

Leicester City's Kelechi Iheanacho and Villarreal youngster Samuel Chukwueze are also in the squad with the latter opting for the African tournament rather than the FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland.

Coach Gernot Rohr and the squad will assemble on 2 June to prepare for a pre-tournament friendly against Zimbabwe on 8 June before departing the following day for Egypt.

The Super Eagles will be based at their training camp in the city of Ismailia and tackle Africa’s number one–ranked team Senegal in their final pre-tournament friendly on 16 June.

Nigeria are drawn against Burundi, Guinea and Madagascar in Group B of the Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off on 21 June.

Nigeria's 25-man squad:

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta/CYP), Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United), Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs/RSA)

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC/ITA), Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC/TUR), Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor/TUR), William Ekong (Udinese FC/ITA), Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion/ENG), Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes/SPA), Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07/GER), Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United/ENG)

Midfielders: John Obi Mikel (Middlesbrough FC/ENG), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City/ENG), Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City/ENG), John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva/ISR)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar FC/KSA), Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi SC/BEL), Moses Simon (Levante FC/ESP), Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK/TUR), Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua/CHN), Alexander Iwobi (Arsenal FC/ENG), Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux/FRA), Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland/DEN), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City/ENG), Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal/SPA)

On Standby: Theophilus Afelokhai (Enyimba FC), Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow/RUS), Ikouwem Utin (Enyimba FC), Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal/POR), Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly/EGY), Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba FC)

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