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Joel Obi

Torino star, Joel Obi returns as Mikel leads 28 players to camp for Poland, Serbia friendlies

Former Inter Milan midfielder, Joel Obi and two members of the squad that won the silver medal at the Morocco 2018 CHAN, Stephen Eze and Gabriel Okechukwu are among the 27 players invited to camp yesterday by Super Eagles’ Coach, Gernot Rohr for this month’s international friendly matches against Poland and Serbia.

Joel Obi, who now plays for Torino of Italy, last featured for the Super Eagles during the Stephen Keshi era. Stephen Eze and Gabriel Okechukwu join the CHAN Eagles’ captain, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, who has always been a member of the full team. Eze now plays for Bulgarian team, Lokomotiv Plovdiv.

The camp will open on March 19 in Poland. The rest of the squad are the regular features and some players, who joined the team just before the last friendly against Argentina in Russia. In the squad are Skipper Mikel John Obi, midfielder Ogenyi Onazi and playmaker Victor Moses. Ezenwa leads the goalkeeping section, which also has Francis Uzoho and Daniel Akpeyi.

There is another chance for Turkey-based Kenneth Omeruo in the defence alongside Russia–based Brian Idowu, who scored against Argentina on his debut in that friendly in Russia last year. Al Ahly of Egypt’s Junior Ajayi, who earned an Olympic bronze in Brazil in 2016, will earn his first senior cap if he got the opportunity to play in the friendlies scheduled for Wroclaw on March 23 (against Poland) and The Hive, Barnet FC’s stadium (against Serbia) in London on March 27.

Super Eagles’ Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye told The Guardian yesterday that the camp will open in Poland on March 19 with the home-based players alongside officials of the team joining the foreign-based stars on that date. Ibitoye said Coach Rohr would use the games to assess the fringe players to see who among them has the ability to join the team that qualified for the Russia 2018 World Cup.

He also disclosed that letters of invitation have been dispatched to the invited players by the NFF to ensure they hit camp early for the games.


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