Mikel returns to Nigeria for AFCON 2019

Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel has earned a recall to the national team ahead of 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
 
Mikel, 32, last represented the Super Eagles at the 2018 FIFA World Cup but returns to the fold after a solid season in the SkyBet Championship with Middlesbrough.
 
 
According to BBC, the former Chelesa midfielder underwent one-on-one talks with head coach Gernot Rohr before the decision was made to include him in the 25-man preliminary squad.
 
Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho also returns despite scoring only two goals in 35 games across all competitons for the Foxes this season.
 
The three-time African champions are favourites to progress from Group B alongside Guinea as tournament debutants Burundi and Madagascar make up the rest of the group.
 
 
Nigeria's 25-man provisional squad, as per BBC Africa:
 
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa)
 
Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); William Ekong (Udinese, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England)
 
Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Middlesbrough, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be'er Sheva, Israel)
 
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China); Alexander Iwobi (Arsenal, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjylland, Denmark); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal, Spain)
 
Standby: Theophilus Afelokhai (Enyimba FC); Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Ikouwem Utin (Enyimba); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal, Portugal); Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly, Egypt); Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba FC)
 
Nigeria's opening match will be against Burundi on 22 June at the Alexandria Stadium, Alexandria.

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