Nigeria coach, Gernot Rohr did not pick the country’s leading scorer at the Rio Olympics Oghenekaro Etebo for next month’s AFCON qualifier against the Taifa Stars of Tanzania because of injury.
The Portugal-based forward who fired four goals past Japan in Nigeria’s opening game of the Rio Olympics, suffered a hamstring injury in the team’s final group game against Colombia, which made him not to feature in subsequent knockout games against Denmark and Germany.
Also, Etebo also missed the third-place match against Honduras in Belo Horizonte on Saturday where the Dream Team ran away with a 3-2 victory.
A top official disclosed: “Rohr has said Etebo was not part of his first call-ups because he was injured. He needs all his players to be fit.
“He’s a German and he will not take any chances on any of his players.
“It’s the same reason, Alex Iwobi of Arsenal was not considered. He is nursing a thigh injury which he will not recover from till after the Tanzania match.”
Both players will therefore be high on the call-up list once they are fit.
… As Amuneke hails Osimhen’s call-up
Emmanuel Amuneke has saluted the newly-employed Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr for handing Victor Osimhen his first-ever call-up, saying the Wolfsburg-bound youngster is the future of Nigeria football.
Osimhen was record top scorer at last year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile and has since featured for both Nigeria’s U20 and U23s.
He has been named on a 23-man squad for next month’s AFCON 2017 qualifier against Tanzania in Uyo.
“It’s a good thing that the coach picked Victor. He is a growing talent who is blessed with abundant talent. He is the future,” said former Barcelona forward Amuneke, who gave the teenage striker his first break with the Golden Eaglets.
“He will learn from other established strikers in the Super Eagles and that way quicken his growth.
“In more developed footballing countries that is how you bring in your young players.”
Amuneke added: “Young players like Victor and Kelechi (Nwakali, who has signed for Arsenal) are the future Super Eagles and with time Nigeria will be proud of their immense talent.”