Napoli’s man-of-the-moment, Victor Osimhen, checked into Super Eagles John Woods Hotel camp in Abuja yesterday evening ahead of Friday’s first leg of the double header AFCON 2023 qualifying clash against the Wild Dogs (Djurtus) of Guinea Bissau at the MKO Abiola Stadium in the federal capital city.
Osimhen who is the leading marksman in the Italian Serie A on 21 goals with additional four goals scored in the UEFA Champions League, before arriving the Abuja camp of the senior national team, was in Lagos to sign a multimillion dollars endorsement deal.
Although there were apprehension in football circle that Nigerian ball fans may be denied the chance to see their topmost striker in Europe on duty for the Super Eagles due to reports in Italy that Napoli had demanded that NFF should run a scan on Osimhen’s leg to confirm the level of the knock he received in the game against Torino last weekend. Osimhen scored a brace in that game to extend the Naples-based team’s lead at the top of the Serie A to 18 points.
However, Media Officer of the team, Babafemi Raji told THISDAY that there was nothing to fear about Osimhen featuring in the double header against Guinea Bissau.
“Victor Osimhen is here with us. He checked into camp this evening. Although he did not take part in the evening training, we hope to see him at morning training tomorrow (Wednesday). On the reports of Napoli asking for a scan, so far there is nothing of such and any medical matter will be appropriately handled here. There is nothing to worry,”
Osimhen scored four out of the ten un-replied goals that Super Eagles pumped into São Tomé and Principe net in Agadir, Morocco nine months ago. Unless scan shows anything contrary that may prevent the leading scorer in the Italian topflight from lacing boots on Friday, Guinea Bissau should be prepared for the fury of this Nigerian striker of the moment.
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At yesterday’s evening training, 21 Super Eagles players took part in it with fears that technical crew of the team may have the headache of who to select to start the game on Friday.
Apart from Osimhen, the forward line is saturated with quality players. From Paul Onuachu who was leading scorer in Belgium before switching to Southampton in January winter transfer to Ademola Lookman, Kelechi Iheanacho, Samuel Chukwueze and Terem Moffi, they are all top players capable of ripping apart the Wild Dogs.
Porto FC defender, Zaidu Sanusi was the only player yet to arrive Super Eagles camp as at last night.
The players will continue their training this morning in Abuja.
Nigeria, on six maximum points from previous two matches, will take on Guinea Bissau in a top-of-the-table fixture that will largely determine the swing of the pool, with the Super Eagles favoured to pick all six points and guarantee their passage to Cote d’Ivoire early next year.
22 EAGLES IN CAMP
*Akpoguma *Aribo *Lookman *Iwobi *Ajayi *Aniagboso *Uzoho *Ndidi *Bameyi *Omeruo *Onyeka *Simon *Onuachu *Osayi *Musa *Moffi, *Sochima *Bassey *Onyemaechi *Chukwueze *SNRman Kelz *Osimhen