Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr seems to have commenced the search for a replacement of former captain John Obi Mikel.
Speaking moments after the former Chelsea star announced he was retiring from national team duties, the Franco-German tactician, who guided the Super Eagles to a third-place finish at the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt, insists the position is open for youngsters playing regularly for their clubs.
“First, I think we have to thank this great player for his successful career and also what he has done for Nigeria.
“He didn’t participate in the qualifiers, but he agreed to come and play his role as a captain here. It was good to have him around even though he didn’t play many games,” noted Rohr.
“We have to search for new midfielders now. We have Semi Ajayi who was part of our initial 25 man list for this competition but didn’t make the final 23.
“He could come and play in defensive midfield. There are other young players, but it all depends on what they are doing in their clubs.
“We don’t have players in Champions League clubs. We have some good players playing in the second division in Germany and England.
“We only have two playing in England regularly, but Alex Iwobi is not all the time starting player at Arsenal, and Ndidi, yes in Leicester but it’s not a very big club.
“So I think we have to work hard to find the players who can replace Obi Mikel or the other ones we have in the team now,” Rohr summed up.
Mikel earned 88 caps for Nigeria, netting six times along with 12 assists.