Former Arsenal midfielder Kelechi Nwakali said he is still the heir apparent to John Obi Mikel and is a targeting a recall to the Nigeria national team ahead of the start of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The Diamond Academy product is one of the players tipped to replace the retired Mikel in the Super Eagles, but manager Gernot Rohr did not look his way when he announced his roster for the recent friendly against Ukraine.
Though Nwakali had not played competitively this season, he sparkled as the Dream Team VII qualified for the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations, following their 5-0 rout of Sudan in Asaba on Tuesday.
‘’I am still the heir apparent to Mikel,’’ Kelechi Nwakali told reporters post-match.
‘’I believe my own is to do the playing and whenever it is time for me to come I am always available.
‘’It is always an honour to represent Nigeria. Of course, I am still knocking on the door of the Super Eagles, that’s why we keep playing every day.’’
The new SD Huesca signing had captained the Golden Eaglets and Flying Eagles in the past and knew what it takes to prepare for major tournaments, including the U23 AFCON, which holds in Egypt in November.
Nwakali was named in an official Nigeria squad for the first time in August 2018 ahead of an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Seychelles.