Super Eagles captain Miekl Obi believes the blend of experience and youth could help Nigeria to a glorious outing at the forthcoming Africa Nations Cup in Egypt.
Mikel played his first game for Nigeria after almost a year absence in Saturday’s drab goalless draw with Zimbabwe in Asaba and the Middlesbrough midfielder played down the result and rather stated that the flashes of brilliance from the duo of Villarreal youngsters Samuel Chukwueze and Samuel Kalu, who plays for French Ligue 1 side Bordeaux can serve as springboard for a successful campaign in the 24-team tournament starting June 21.
He reckoned that Nigeria should be able to ruffle some feathers in Egypt with a concise blend of youth and experience in the squad that will be on display at AFCON 2019, where he says the Eagles should not be written off or underrated due to their absences at the last two editions.
Mikel,33, said: ”The coach has invited the players that will do the job for us. It is a very good blend of youth and experience.
“I think it is also good for the young players. You know Chukwueze, Kalu, you could see a bit of flashes of talent. They are very good players.
“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, and the coaches.
“Hopefully we will have a very good plan in the Nations Cup and do great things. 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.”
Mikel also reckoned that with the team built around his versatility, he would have to be at his best form to help the their course as Nigeria chase their fourth continental crown.
“When I come back I give 110 per cent to help the team. Hopefully, we can have a good tournament.” he said
Mikel got a high rating for his commanding display against Zimbabwe as Nigeria took control for the better part of the match at the Stephen Keshi stadium in what was the team’s final home pre-AFCON friendly.