Former Nigeria under-20 coach John Obuh has warned Kelechi Iheanacho that he risks being left out of future Super Eagles call-ups if he does not swap Leicester City for a club where he will be guaranteed regular playing time.
Following his exclusion from the Super Eagles squad for the AFCON, Obuh has urged the Leicester striker to address his club issues else the AFCON will not be the only Super Eagles assignment he will miss out on.
Iheanacho and Semi Ajayi were victims as coach Rohr announced whittled down his provisional 25-man squad to 23 for the AFCON.
The striker who came into the Super Eagles camp on the back of a poor season in the English Premier League was snubbed for youngsters Victor Osimhen and the lively Samuel Chukwueze.
In the just ended Premier League, Iheanacho started only nine of 30 games he played, scoring once for the Foxes.
Obuh maintains that a new environment will help revive the hunger and confidence of Iheanacho and enable him to rediscover his goal scoring instincts.
“He hasn’t been participating actively in the league, it will be difficult for us to fault the coach because whatever decision he’s making for this Afcon, he’s doing it based on club performance,” Obuh told Goal .
“If you remember, Mikel has not been in the national team for a while but he has been playing for his club so he has a different case to deal with even though some people try to talk about that.
“Iheanacho is a young, talented footballer and we all know that. I think what he really needs to do is to look for a club that will grant him a regular playing time so that he won’t go into too much competition with anybody that will cause him not to play.
“That’s the simple thing he needs to do because it will help him. I think the coach’s decision is okay and he should accept it in good faith and think for a way forward for himself.”
“The best thing is for him to look for a club where he will play regularly irrespective of how much he is going to earn because he needs to come back to the performance that we know him for, which is very important,” Obuh continued.
Obuh also backed the team to win the AFCON
“The most important thing is that 90 percent of them have been playing together for quite some time now so by such advantage, it is expected for them to do well,” Obuh added.
“The target is for the team to maintain the country’s best performance of winning the title, there’s no stage we have not gotten to. We have finished as third, second and winner before, so we need to target the title and not come down.”