AFCON 2019: Mikel rates Chukwueze, Kalu high

June 9th, 2019

Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel has rated Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze and Bordeaux’s Samuel Kalu high ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The former Chelsea star was impressed with the performance of both players in Saturday’s international friendly against the Warriors of Zimbabwe which ended scoreless at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.

”The coach has invited the players that will do the job for us. It is a very good blend of young and experience. Like the coach said, we needed a little bit of experience – Shehu and Ighalo were not on the pitch,” Mikel said at the post match press conference.

“I think it is also good for the young players to play this game, you know Chukwueze, Kalu, you could see a bit of flashes of talent. They are very good players.

”I think we will work on when to run with the ball, when not to run, when to pass, but you could see the talent is there for them. I think they can do great things in this Nations Cup.

”We just have to keep talking to them, we the senior players, the coaches and hopefully we will have a very good plan in the Nations Cup and do great things.”

Mikel was outstanding in the goalless draw against Zimbabwe and was rightly named the Man of the Match in his first game for the Super Eagles since June 2018.

”When I am ready, I come back. When I come back I give 110 percent.

”The team has done great up till now, the team has been fantastic, the boys have worked really hard to get us here and I just come to add a little bit of my experience and also to help the team.

”Hopefully, we can have a good tournament,” the Super Eagles number 10 concluded.

Nigeria’s final pre-Africa Cup of Nations friendly comes up against the top ranked team in Africa, Senegal on June 16.

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