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Osimhen’s doubts and Nigeria’s options at AFCON 2021

By Guardian Nigeria
15 December 2021   |   1:33 am
Nigeria is waiting with bated breath as every new day comes and goes. There’s no concrete news yet regarding star striker Victor Osimhen

Nigeria is waiting with bated breath as every new day comes and goes. There’s no concrete news yet regarding star striker Victor Osimhen and no one seems sure if the Napoli forward will be fit for the 2021 AFCON finals in Cameroon.

Osimhen suffered a facial injury in the 55th minute of Napoli’s game against Inter Milan in Serie A after a collision with Milan Skriniar three weeks ago. Reports later would emerge of a broken cheekbone.

Doctors have had their say; they predict a return to full competitive action in three months, which by the timings, locks him out of AFCON. His club reports that he is back in training, just weeks after the injury. Reports in Italy say the team is working hard to see that he features soon. This may be both good and bad news for Nigeria, who would want him allowed more time out to heal fully but at the same time seeing him back in play would raise hopes.

The silent prayers from Lagos through Abuja and all the way to Europe, particularly in Naples, Italy will be that he doesn’t aggravate the injury and that he will be available for Cameroon 2021. It is bound to be a tough time for Nigeria fans but it doesn’t have to be all gloomy with the Nigerian betting promo codes on SportyTrader well tailored for them. The best of them all being the Bet9ja and Melbet bonuses which offer up to N100,000 on registration while BetObet has a N50,000 bonus offer and 1XBet has N35,000.

So, what happens if Osimhen doesn’t make it? What are the options? A number of players are in the chase for the coveted slot and with a new man in charge – Augustine Eguavoen, the slots for Cameroon 2021 will be up for grabs.

Paul Onuachu: Onuachu was used sparingly by the former coach and he may want to take this chance to show he can be the perfect replacement. He is in his third season at Genk in Belgium and so far he is doing well. In his first season he scored nine league goals but last season he banged 33. This season he already has 10 in 16 matches and seems sure to have a slot in the team. The biggest disadvantage with Onuachu is that he isn’t as speedy as Osimhen.

Taiwo Awoniyi: Awniyi is in his third season in the German Bundesliga and he is also doing well at Union Berlin. He has nine league goals at the moment and while a cross section of fans wish to see Odion Ighalo called up, Awooniyi who is eight years younger and playing in a more competitive league would offer more.

Emmanuel Dennis: Another top prospect for Nigeria is Watford forward Emmanuel Dennis, the man who has taken the Premier League by storm in just his first season in a league considered toughest in the world. Dennis has seven goals at Watford and five assists. Barring injury, he has clearly made a case for himself after a poor season at Cologne in Bundesliga last season. For all his time in Europe’s top leagues, Dennis hasn’t managed more than seven league goals but it seems that will change this season.

Leicester City’s Kelechi Ihanacho seems assured of a slot but Venezia’s David Okereke and Belgium-born Cyriel Dessers of Feyenoord will be hoping the new manager looks their way for the very competitive places in the squad.