Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho dropped by coach Gernot Rohr from the Super Eagles squad to the AFCON. He was side-lined alongside Semi Ajayi of English club Rotherham United by the coach.
The two players were unused substitutes on Saturday as Zimbabwe held the Super Eagles to a goalless draw at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Goal.com reports.
Iheanacho has struggled for game time at his Premier League club, while defender or defensive midfielder Semi Ajayi was up against more experienced players who play at bigger clubs.
Rohr has all of this week hinted that club form will be a major determinant in the players on the final squad to Egypt 2019. Top officials have reportedly ordered that Iheanacho for one should be on the flight to Egypt, but Rohr insisted that there is fierce competition among the strikers on the squad and “gifts” will not be handed out to any player.
He also said Iheanacho is lacking self-belief and has been unhappy.
Rohr did not play the former Manchester City star in last night’s warm-up against Zimbabwe to finally seal his decision to leave him out of the party to Egypt.
The rest of the provisional squad are therefore safe and will fly out to Egypt later today from Asaba on a chartered flight.
They will fly out along with the Warriors of Zimbabwe by 4pm local time. Nigeria are scheduled to travel to the Egyptian city of Ismailia later today where they will continue their preparations for the Afcon before playing Senegal in another friendly contest at the Ismailia Stadium on June 16.