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Omeruo, Aina make the cut for Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations squad

Side captained by Mikel

Nigeria v Argentina: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Chelsea legend Mikel John Obi is set to captain Nigeria at this winter’s summer’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations — this will be he first edition of this tournament that will not take place in the middle of the European club season — and will be joined by two Chelsea loanees, Ola Aina and Kenneth Omeruo. Victor Moses remains retired from international duty, despite calls from head coach Gernot Rohr to un-retire.

By the time next season starts, neither Aina nor Omeruo may be Chelsea players. Aina’s buy-option has been picked up by Torino FC, though the transfer has not been officially confirmed yet. Omeruo meanwhile is hoping to stay permanently with CD Leganés, who are reportedly negotiating with Chelsea over an affordable transfer fee. But for now, they both remain on Chelsea’s books while looking to play key roles as Nigeria set out to win their first continental title since 2013.

The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations starts on June 21, with the final taking place on July 19 in Cairo, Egypt — same day as Chelsea’s first preseason friendly. Cameroon, who are the defending champions, were set to host before CAF moved the tournament.

The full squad of Super Eagles for the tournament is as follows. The big news is that Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho has been left out.

GOALKEEPERS: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa)

DEFENDERS: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (Rizespor, Turkey); William Ekong (Udinese, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany)

MIDFIELDERS: Mikel John Obi (Middlesbrough, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)

FORWARDS: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China); Alexander Iwobi (Arsenal, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjylland, Denmark); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal, Spain)

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