Joel Obi returns as Rohr snubs Martins, Ajiboye


Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has rewarded Torino midfielder with a recall to the after four years in  the international wilderness.

The 26-year-old, whose electric start to his career at Inter Milan was ruined by injuries, has continued his blistering form  for Torino  this since returning to the field after missing the first half of the 2015–16 season.

Rohr proved he has been monitoring Obi’s performance in the Italian Serie A this season as he on Wednesday  named him in his 28-man squad for  Nigeria’s  friendly matches against Poland and Serbia ahead of the Russia .

The Eagles face Poland in Wroclaw on March 23 before travelling to London to clash against Serbia four days later.

  Obi, who has scored four   Serie A goals in 15 appearances for the Bulls this term,  will look  to gatecrash Rohr’s 23-man  World Cup squad with a sensational showing in the friendlies.

Rohr kept faith with the players who helped him realise his dream of  securing a World Cup ticket for Nigeria.

Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, Victor Moses, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Abdullahi Shehu, Leon Balogun, William Ekong, Elderson Echiejile, Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi made the list.

Turkey-based defender Kenneth Omeruo was handed an opportunity to stake his claim for a World Cup after he was omitted from the majority of the Russia 2018 qualifiers.

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Al Ahly forward Junior Ajayi’s impressive showing in Egypt earned him his first call-up to the senior team.

 Young Deportivo La Coruna  keeper Francis Uzoho is on the list alongside much-vilified South Africa-based goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi and Russia-based defender Brian Idowu,  as well as  CHAN 2018 stars Stephen Ezeh and Gabriel Okechukwu.

Obafemi Martins’ hopes of  playing in the World Cup for the second time were dashed as  Rohr  ignored calls for  the  33-year-old China-based  forward  to  be given a chance to play his way into the team.

The Former Gabon manager also shunned  veteran Israel-based goalkeeper Austin Ejide,   Hapoel Be’er Sheva forward Anthony Nwakaeme,  new Shakhtar Donetsk forward Kayode Olanrewaju, Chidiebere Nwakali, Dele Ajiboye, who was touted for a place in the squad, and Scotland-based defender Efe Ambrose.