Nigeria head coach Sunday Oliseh says he decided not to include striker Odion Ighalo in his team for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier so as to “try out” other prospects.
Ighalo was a major omission from a list of 18 foreign-based professionals invited by Oliseh for the 2017 Afcon qualifying match away to Tanzania in the first weekend of September, despite the Watford striker’s current form for club and country.
Coming on the back of a rich vein of form in the pre-season, the 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes of Saturday’s goalless draw with West Bromwich Albion after his goal-scoring Premier League debut in a 2-2 draw at Everton.
In June, Ighalo scored his first goal for the Super Eagles in his competitive international debut in a 2-0 home win over Chad in their opening Afcon 2017 qualifier in June.
“We can only play 11 players at once,” Oliseh said during an interactive session on Monday. “We have two other strikers we want to try out.”
Meanwhile, the ex-Nigeria international has called up Russia-based Sylvester Igboun and Esperance striker Emem Eduok.
He added: “We are starting from the scratch, but with time I hope for a winning style of play.”