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Mikel, Lokosa, Ajiboye top Eagles' World Cup provisional list

16 May 2018

Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, has revealed that the absence of goalkeeper Carl Ikeme is his biggest regret ahead of next month's World Cup in Russian Federation.

Twenty-six-year-old Nwankwo's invitation is a confirmation of an exclusive story by The PUNCH on April 24, 2018 which revealed that Rohr would include the striker in his provisional squad for the World Cup.

And Rohr stuck to his word, with only Amkar Perm left-back, Brian Idowu, Lokomotiv Plovdiv big defender, Stephen Eze, and Joel Obi, the other players included in the squad that weren't part of the qualifiers.

He said: "We need to commend the effort of the coach that he was able to come out with this list in spite of pressure from agents of some unfit players".

There is only one South African-based player in the squad as Chippa United's Daniel Akpeyi was named as one of the four goalkeepers. "In the first 35-man list, they have a chance".

A quintuple of Leon Balogun, Wilfred Ndidi, Etebo Oghenekaro, Joel Obi and Tyrone Ebuehi who are recuperating from injury also made the lists.

The Eagles' spokesman further assured Nigerians that the players selected for the World Cup camp were duly selected as they represent the best legs the country can boast of at the moment.

Lokosa, forward for Nigerian Premier League side Kano Pillars, has enjoyed a great season scoring 18 goals in 20 matches, while the 26-year-old Nwankwo, attacker for Serie A's Crotone, will get his maiden worldwide call-up due to his fine form in the Italian top flight, scoring six goals in seven matches.

Attackers are Odion Ighalo, Ahmed Musa, Moses Simon, Victor Moses, Junior Lokosa (new entrant), Simeon Nwankwo (new entrant), Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho.

Mikel, Lokosa, Ajiboye top Eagles' World Cup provisional list