More woes for Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr ahead of September’s qualifiers

The German tactician is already set to be without the services of the UK players for the game against Cape Verde, but his preparations for the clash against Liberia has taken another huge blow

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr is set to be without Frank Onyeka for Nigeria’s World Cup qualifier against Liberia. 

Onyeka was not named in the Brentford squad that held Aston Villa to a 1-1 draw at Villa Park on Sunday, with the Nigerian midfielder replaced in the starting lineup by Saman Ghoddos.

The Bees confirmed that Onyeka withdrew from the starting eleven because he tested positive for coronavirus.

The development could see the midfield dynamo miss Nigeria’s crucial Qatar 2022 qualifying games. 

In Onyeka’s absence, the newly-promoted side kept up their unbeaten start to the Premier League season as Villa’s Emiliano Buendia and the Bees’ Ivan Toney traded first-half goals to earn a share of the points.

It is not the best news for Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr, who expected to have the former Midtjylland FC star available for Nigeria’s 2022 World Cup qualifier against Liberia on September 3.

Rohr named Onyeka among only four central midfielders in his primary 23-man list. The others were Oghenekaro Etebo, Wilfred Ndidi and Joe Aribo, all of whom are based in the UK.

Onyeka and at least seven others were already expected to miss Nigeria’s trip to Cape Verde on September 11 due to the UK’s strict travel policy to red-listed countries.

The 25-year-old is yet to make his competitive debut for the Super Eagles after earning his first and only appearance to date for the three-time African champions in a friendly last year.

This could be a chance for the German tactician to promote any of Bologna’s Kingsley Michael and Malmo’s Innocent Bonke (Malmo) from the reserve list to the main list to replace the Brentford star.

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