The Super Eagles manager has explained the reason why he didn't call up the 24-year-old and other forwards who are impressing for their teams around the globe
By Kolade Oni
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has stated that Everton striker Victor Anichebe still remains in his long term plans, despite not being picked for their African Cup of Nations qualifier against Liberia.
Anichebe has only recently recovered from injury, and though he has been in impressive form this season, Keshi says that he had reservations about picking a player so soon after a serious injury.
However, Keshi assured Anichebe and other players like Yakubu, Peter Utaka, Obafemi Martins and Kalu Uche that they would get their opportunity to represent the Super Eagles when the time is right.
"It is true that I said that invitation of the players would be by merit and current form alone and that it won't be by favouritism or sentiment," said Keshi to Goal.com.
"Anichebe just played his second game for Everton when I made the list and this guy has been out for about a year.
"He had injury against Madagascar and he has been on and off playing 15 or 20 minutes and the first game he started was about two weeks ago.
"Honestly speaking, I would love to have him but at the same time I need to think about his career because he is just coming in.
"He needs to slow down and get into shape before we bring him back. He is a very good player. We need him. We also need Obafemi Martins, Uche Kalu, Yakubu Aiyegbeni and other good players that we have around.
"But we cannot bring everybody at the same time there must be a number of player that I can work with and the ones that are ready to give us what we want at the same time."