John Obi Mikel led Nigeria at the World Cup earlier this year, but has been left out of the squad by coach Gernot Rohr for the upcoming Afcon qualifier against Bafana Bafana. Photo: Ricardo Mazalan/AP

ABUJA – Nigeria have again left out captain John Obi Mikel from next month’s crucial 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in South Africa after they named a 23-man squad.

China-based Mikel Obi, who made his Nigeria debut in 2005, has not played for the country since he captained the team to the World Cup in Russia in June.

Officials have said the former Chelsea star was previously left out of the squad to allow him time to recover from niggling injuries.

But he has since fully recovered and is now playing regularly for his Chinese club, Tianjin Teda.

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has recalled Sporting Charleroi striker Victor Osimhen and midfielder Mikel Agu, who is based in Portugal.

Villarreal young forward Samuel Chukwueze has been handed his first call-up.

Nigeria play South Africa in Johannesburg on November 17.

They top Group E with nine points from four matches, a point ahead of second-placed South Africa.

Nigeria will also host Uganda in a friendly at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba on November 20.

Nigeria Squad

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi.

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina, Adeleye Aniyikaye, Semi Ajayi, Bryan Idowu, William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo, Jamilu Collins.

Midfielders: Oghenekaro Etebo, John Ogu, Mikel Agu.

Forwards: Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Victor Osimhen, Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi, Samuel Kalu, Isaac Success, Samuel Chukwueze.