The coach of the Egyptian National team coach, Javier Aguirre, has revealed that the omission of reigning African Footballer of the Year, Mohamed Salah, from the roster to face the Super Eagles in Friday’s friendly in Asaba was deliberate.
The coach, while speaking in Asaba, said he chose to leave out the Liverpool superstar for him to be able to assess his team as he looks to have a formidable team for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and beyond.
“I deliberately left Salah and some other top players out of the game because I want to watch new discoveries.
“I use the game against Niger and the one against Nigeria to see what they can bring to the table ahead of the final 23 for the AFCON. It was my decision to check new players,” the coach stated.
The Egypt coach said he is taking Tuesday’s friendly with the Super Eagles serious as it will be a good test for the two countries as they prepare for the 2019 AFCON.
“Nigeria is a country that loves football and the atmosphere already shows that it is going to be a special match,” he said.
“It is an opportunity for both sides as they already preparing for the AFCON, it is going to be a good test for the two teams.”
Since taking over from Hector Cuper who led the Pharaohs to the World Cup in Russia, Aguirre has won all but one of his games in charge.
His perfect run only came to an end after Saturday’s 1-1 away draw against Niger in the last round of the African Nations Cup qualifiers.
While Salah is absent, the seven-time African champions have other decent players for Friday’s game at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba including the likes of Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny and Mahmoud “Trezeguet” Hassan (Kasimpasa, Turkey) among others.