UPDATED: Nigeria drop Iheanacho, Ajayi from AFCON squad

Nigeria and Leicester striker, Kelechi Iheanacho grimaces after missing a goal opportunity for the Super Eagles

Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho has been dropped by coach Gernot Rohr from the Super Eagles squad to the African Cup of Nations, AFCON.

Also dropped from the 23-man list, according to ScoreNigeria, was Semi Ajayi of English club Rotherham United.

Iheanacho had struggled for game time at his Premier League club all through last season while defender Semi Ajayi was up against more experienced players who play at bigger clubs.

Rohr had, last week, hinted that club form will be a major determinant in the players on the final squad to Egypt 2019.

It was gathered that top Nigeria Football Federation officials had reportedly ordered that Iheanacho should be on the flight to Egypt, but Rohr insisted that there was fierce competition among the strikers on the squad and “gifts” will not be handed out to any player.

He also said Iheanacho was lacking self-belief and had been unhappy.

Rohr did not play the former Manchester City star in last night’s warm-up against Zimbabwe.

The rest of the provisional squad will fly out to Egypt later today (Sunday) from Asaba on a chartered flight.

The Eagles will set up training base in Ismailia, where they will play a final warm-up game against Senegal on Sunday, June 16.

The Super Eagles’ final squad list released by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has goalkeepers Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus), Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United) and Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa)

There are also defenders Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy), Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey), Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey) and William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy).

The rest defenders are Leon Balogun (Brighton and Hove Albion, England), Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain) and Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany).

Mikel John Obi (Middlesbrough FC, England), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England), Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England) and John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel) are the midfielders.

The forwards include Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar FC, Saudi Arabia), Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi SC, Belgium), Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain) and Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey).

The others are Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China), Alexander Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England), Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France), Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark) and Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain).

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