Former Nigeria international Nduka Ugbade has described Victor Osimhen’s absence from the Super Eagles squad to the 2021 AFCON as terrible, Completesports.com reports.
After undergoing surgery on his fractured eye socket and cheekbone, Napoli revealed that Osimhen will be sidelined for three months which rules him out of next year’s tournament.
Osimhen had a head collision with an Inter Milan player in Sunday’s Serie A clash which saw Napoli lose 3-2.
He was rushed to hospital before undergoing surgery today (Tuesday) with Napoli confirming how long he will be out of action.
And in an exclusive interview with Completesports.com, Ugbade who helped Nigeria win the 1994 AFCON in Tunisia said: “This is a very terrible thing for Nigeria, for this Cup of National coming up in January because Osimhen is 50 per cent national team. He is a hustler and this is an opportunity because he is at his best. It is very painful.“
The 1985 FIFA U-16 World Cup winning captain with the Golden Eaglets pointed out that this is now an opportunity for other players to step in.
“We have to start looking inwards to see what we can do so the likes of Taiwo Awoniyi should be called upon especially in friendly matches so as to give him the opportunity and not pressurize him so much because he is doing well now in Europe.
“Also, the return of Odion Ighalo would now not be anything bad at this moment, he was part of the team before but like I said Taiwo must be called. The likes of Terem Moffi, Paul Onuachu and others that have not been given the opportunity should get their opportunity now. But my own concern is for Taiwo to be called.“
So far this season, the 22-year-old has scored nine goals and provided two assists in 14 games in all competitions.