Former Super Eagles forward Victor Ikpeba has downplayed the importance of John Mikel Obi to the current national team set-up.

Mikel has been left out of the team to face South Africa and Uganda in next month’s international break.

The China based midfielder has not featured for the Eagles since Nigeria’s final World Cup group game against Argentina.

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In his absence, the team have won all four games they played, including their AFCON Qualifications doubleheader against Libya.

And it’s testament to these that former goal poacher has supported Gernot Rohr’s exclusion of the 32-year-old.

Ikpeba who was speaking on Supersport’s Monday Night Football said:

“Mikel is not a must in Eagles. I understand the coach,”

“Mikel has been a fantastic player for the national team for more than a decade. And I understand that the skipper and the coach have a great relationship but we don’t know why he was not invited.

“But this is great for the team and great for the young set of players that they can do without Mikel and without Victor Moses. The team has been brilliant without them and the coach has been apt with the decision,”

Nigeria will travel to South Africa on November 17, in their next game of the AFCON Qualifiers. Three days later the Eagles will host Uganda at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba in an international friendly.

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