By Olatunji Saliu
ABUJA, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Nigeria's national football team coach Gernot Rohr on Sunday named a 23-man squad for this month's African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt, but left out Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho.
The 22-year-old struggled for form and regular playing time for his club during the 2018-19 Premier League season, and seemingly failed to convince Rohr that he was worthy of a place in the tournament squad.
Also missing is defender Semi Ajayi, who, despite being a standout performer for Rotherham United in England's second tier this season, failed to displace several more established names in the squad.
A statement released by the Nigeria Football Federation includes team captain Mikel John Obi, Shanghai Shenhua striker Odion Ighalo, and Alexander Iwobi, who plays for Premier League side Arsenal.
In a pre-tournament friendly on Saturday, Nigeria were held to a goalless draw with Zimbabwe at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, capital of the oil-rich Delta State.
The three-time AFCON champions will now face Senegal in their final friendly match on June 16.
The 2019 African Cup of Nations is the 32nd edition of the competition, and will be held in Egypt from June 21 to July 19.
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi
Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina, Abdullahi Shehu, Chidozie Awaziem, William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo, Jamilu Collins
Midfielders: Mikel John Obi, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, John Ogu
Forwards: Ahmed Musa, Victor Osimhen, Moses Simon, Henry Onyekuru, Odion Ighalo, Alexander Iwobi, Samuel Kalu, Paul Onuachu, Samuel Chukwueze.