CHELSEA midfielder Mikel Obi has been named as the new Super Eagles captain by head coach Samson Siasia ahead of tomorrow’s African Nations Cup qualifier against Egypt at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium Kaduna.
In a stern test for the team, Nigeria will play Egypt home and away within the next five days, playing the first leg at home and the away tie in Alexandra on the 29th. Currently in Kaduna putting finishing touches to their plans, the team is due to have its final session today and Siasia has decided to give Mikel the armband.
Former coach Sunday Oliseh had named Ahmed Musa as his skipper after he fell out with captain Vincent Enyeama who decided to call it quits and retire from international football. However, handing Musa the armband created several problems as the CSKA Moscow winger is not guaranteed a starting place in the line-up.
With Siasia recalling several players who were estranged under Oliseh like West Ham’s Victor Moses, Musa is likely to be a substitute. Even if he were playing, Musa is not regarded as senior enough in the team as there are several other players like Mikel, above him in the ranking order.
Apart from being the most senior player in the squad, Mikel is also the most widely recognised member of the team, having spent the last 10 years playing high profile football at Chelsea. Mikel’s first task as skipper will be to tray and secure a win tomorrow when the Eagles take on the highly-rated Pharaohs.