Africa Cup of Nations: Iheanacho left out of Nigeria squad

Kelechi Iheanacho
Leicester City's Kelechi Iheanacho has struggled for form this season for both club and country.

Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho has been left out of Nigeria's final squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The 22-year-old had earned a spot in the 25-man provisional squad last month, despite a patchy run of form.

But Iheanacho, who is still searching for his first international goal since scoring against Argentina in 2017 and was the subject of strong criticism from Rohr earlier this year, has been made to wait for his first appearance at the continental showpiece.

The other omission from the party to Egypt is another England-based midfielder, Semi Ajayi, who plays for Rotherham United.

Other than that, the majority of the players that featured on the global stage at the 2018 World Cup in Russia are named in Gernot Rohr's squad.

That includes the likes of captain John Mikel Obi, Ahmed Musa, William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Wilfred Ndidi, Alex Iwobi, Oghenekaro Etebo and Leon Balogun.

In-form Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze and fellow under-17 World Cup winner Victor Osimhen are both included and will get a chance to make their first tournament appearances at senior level.

The squad played out a goalless draw against Zimbabwe in a friendly in Asaba on Saturday and will now fly out to the Egyptian city of Ismailia for a final pre-tournament friendly against Senegal on 16 June.

The three-time champions will play in Group B at the Nations Cup, alongside Guinea, Madagascar and Burundi.

Nigeria's opening match will be against Burundi on 22 June at the Alexandria Stadium, Alexandria.

Nigeria's 23-man squad:

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

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

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

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

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