The quartet of Plateau United of Jos goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye, Lokomotiv Plovdiv of Bulgaria defender Stephen Eze, Standard Liege of Belgium midfielder Uche Agbo and Kano Pillars striker, Junior Lokosa have been dropped from the Super Eagles’ World Cup squad.
All four were axed from the team on Wednesday afternoon, ahead of the squad’s departure to London, where they battle England at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr had earlier revealed that five players would be dropped, but an injury to AA Gent of Belgium winger, Moses Simon kept his plans on hold.
Rohr is now looking between Crotone of Italy striker, Simeon Tochukwu Nwankwo and Simon, as the Gent star battles it out for the final 23-man squad that will fly to Russia.
The squad, comprising three goalkeepers, nine defenders, seven midfielders and five attackers, will join Chelsea star, Victor Moses in the UK as they prepare for the friendly game against England on Saturday.
Nigeria’s full squad to England has – Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho, Daniel Akpeyi, and Ikechukwu Ezenwa, as well as defenders: Abdullahi Shehu, Tyronne Ebuehi, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Chidozie Awaziem, Kenneth Omeruo, Bryan Idowu, Ola Aina, Elderson Echiejile.
Others are midfielders: Ogenyi Onazi, Mikel Agu, Wilfred Ndidi, Joel Obi, John Ogu, Oghenekharo Etebo, and John Mikel Obi, as well as attackers: Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Ahmed Musa, Odion Ighalo and Simeon Tochukwu Nwankwo.
Despite being backed by Rohr in his pre-match conference on Friday, Agbo was dropped after not featuring in any of the qualifiers whilst NPFL top goals scorer, Lokosa also misses out despite impressing in the game against DR Congo.
In reaction to the development, Eze said he is not giving up on the national team after missing out on the final cut for Russia 2018.
The Benue-born stopper also thanked Rohr and the management for the opportunity of being part of the initial team, whilst wishing them the best at the World Cup.
The former Lobi Stars of Makurdi and ex-Kano Pillars player, who moved to Bulgaria after impressing for Nigeria at the 2018 CHAN, said he will recover from the disappointment of not making the final list.
Eze said: “The past few days at the Super Eagles’ training camp have been some of the most enlightening days in my football career.
“There was so much I learnt from the talent that drives our team. But sadly, my journey to the World Cup ends here. I am very disappointed at not to make the final squad.”