Tianjin Teda of China midfielder, John Mikel Obi has thrown his weight behind the influx of young players in the Super Eagles, as the Nigerian captain says the coach, Gernot Rohr is planning for the future.
In the wake of the invitation of four new players and several youngsters in Rohr’s list of 24 players for next Saturday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier away to Seychelles, Mikel said it is commendable to see the coach has courage to think of the future in the face of pressures to get good results in the present.
Mikel used the example of Kelechi Nwakali in the list to battle Seychelles to buttress his point in support of Rohr’s laudable developmental efforts with the Eagles, and the former Chelsea star said he also enjoyed the privilege of an early invitation to the senior squad.
Golden Eaglets’ Chile 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup-winning captain, Nwakali, who is on loan to FC Porto of Portugal from Arsenal of England, has been included in the Eagles squad to face Seychelles after impressing for Nigeria’s B-squad in a friendly against Atletico Madrid before the World Cup, where he scored a fantastic goal during a 3-2 loss in Port Harcourt.
Mikel says the invitation of Nwakali by Rohr is a step in the right direction, adding that it shows how the coach has an eye on the Eagles’ future.
Mikel stressed: “Rohr has his eyes on the future despite the pressure on him to succeed in the immediate.
“Nwakali is a future project and hopefully he will come good because he has the ability to be succeed in a not too distant future.
“I was a little bit younger when I broke into the senior national team of Nigeria and that helped me in my career.
“My early introduction into the national team also means I didn’t look out of place when I became a senior player.”