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Mikel’s presence in Eagles will boost young players, says Udeze

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Nigeria’s midfielder John Obi Mikel (R) and Nigeria’s German coach Gernot Rohr. / AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI


Former International, Ifeanyi Udeze has described as a good omen the inclusion of Mikel Obi in the Super Eagles’ 25-man provisional list for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) holding between June 21 and July 19 in Egypt.

Mikel was recently released by the English Championship side, Middlesbrough after failing to guard the club to promotion into Premier League, in a six months loan spell. However, Udeze thinks that the national team would need his service to propel the young blood in the team to give their best for a respectable outing.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Udeze said he was satisfied with the names in the recent list of players that would adorn the country’s green-white-green jerseys by Coach Genot Rohr. He described the list as a mixture of experience and talents ready to make names for themselves at their maiden AFCON.

“As far as I am concerned the recent list by the coach is okay, it is not a bad one. I think the coach brought out a very good list. The most important thing now is for them to make sure that they go out there and make the country proud.

“Whether they play regularly for their club sides or not doesn’t matter but one thing we need to understand is that when there is a coach, he will always pick players that he can rely on, and who will do the job for him when called upon.

“In this case, it does not matter if you play even for a third division, but as long as he knows that whenever he calls you, you will give your best in order to get the job done for him, which is the most important thing,” he said.

The former Super Eagles’ left back, who hailed the addition of Mikel into the team, added that the youngsters would have a lot to learn from his experience, which would be brought to bear at the tournament in Egypt.

“The inclusion of Mikel goes down well with me because he is an important player. He is a kind of player that many of the youngsters will be looking up to for guidance.

“When they see him they would want to play because of the confidence he will give to the team with style. Sometimes that is what you get when you have someone in the stature of Mikel in a team with many young players. His presence definitely will boost the morale of the players to make sure that they do well in the tournament,” he stated.


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Ifeanyi UdezeMikel Obi
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