Super Eagles gaffer, Gernot Rohr might have just struck a decisive wand in his quest to clinch Nigeria’s fourth continental crown following the recall of inspirational captain and talismanic midfielder Mikel John Obi, AOIFootball.com reports.
The former Chelsea of England midfielder entered a self-imposed exile from the national team but Rohr and his young Eagles rallied round themselves to return the country to the Nations Cup following a six-year exile from the competition.
Mikel, who has been training with the Eagles in Asaba since his return, has however brought back stability to the team’s midfield and has also brought a bit of fear factor back to the national team ahead of the AFCON.
Having watched a chunk of the Eagles training and proving it with a man of the match display on Saturday night against Zimbabwe, the 32-year-old continues to show incredible strength in the middle of the park and has not slowed down in pace, fighting for every ball during the training sessions.
Despite qualifying for the AFCON with a game to spare, the Eagles’ midfield lacked stability during the qualifiers and were largely exposed in Johannesburg against South Africa and the goalless draw in Asaba against Uganda.
But with the team set to conquer Africa in Egypt, Mikel who insists he has all it takes to feature all round for the Eagles following an impressive campaign with Middlesbrough in the English Championship, will no doubt offer plenty to the national team going forward.
With 88 senior caps already, the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup silver ball winner will almost certainly want to write his name in Nigeria’s history books and lead the country to the Nations Cup triumph.