Gernot Rohr, the Super Eagles manager, has explained the reason behind not inviting the duo of Plateau United goalkeeper, Dele Ajiboye, and FC Feirense of Portugal safest pair of gloves, Dele Alampasu, for the upcoming friendly matches between Nigeria and their counterparts from Poland and Serbia.
Super Eagles play their Polish counterparts on March 23 in Warsaw before taking on the Serbians in London three days later, and Rohr invited Enyimba’s Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Deportivo La Coruna’s Francis Uzoho, and Chipa United of South Africa’s Daniel Akpeyi as goalkeepers to man the post in those matches.
However, despite demonstrating his quality with a heroic display during the Super Eagles’ 1-0 CHAN semi-final victory over Sudan, Ajiboye was overlooked for the friendlies against Poland and Serbia.
“They had already their chance,” began Rohr when asked about Ajiboye and Dele Alampasu’s non-inclusion in the latest Eagles squad. “Remember that we have invited Dele.
“Dele was second choice in the CHAN team, and it’d be surprising that he was No. 1 and (Ikechukwu) Ezenwa No. 2 in the Super Eagles.
“We must be logical in our choices.”
Plateau United’s Ajiboye came off the bench to replace injured captain Ezenwa early into the Eagles’ semi-final against the Falcons of Jeddiane, and ensured it was the West Africans who met Morocco in the final after a series of outstanding blocks.
“Alampasu, unfortunately, is never playing,” added Rohr. “You cannot take a goalkeeper who is never playing.”
“Uzoho made his debut for Nigeria against Argentina and did very well,” the coach continued. “He plays for the second team of [Deportivo] La Coruna; we could see him [at the World Cup].
“Ezenwa was injured but he is returning gradually and he’s played with the second team at his club already,” Rohr concluded. “We’ll see who will be the fittest.
“I think Uzoho, who did so well in the second half against Argentina, could add some more competition for us.”