Super Eagles’ quest to win AFCON 2021 suffers another setback

Maduka Okoye

Maduka Okoye has become the latest Super Eagles player to fall to injury ahead of the African Nations Cup.

Okoye adds to the Super Eagles injury list after the Victor Osimhen setback.

It is barely six weeks to the commencement of the African Cup of Nations 2021 in Cameroon in January, and teams are finalising strategies for the month-long tournament.

Off the back of a dismal performance in the FIFA World Cup group stage qualifiers, the Super Eagles are seeking ways to improve their general play make a solid challenge for the title that has eluded the team since 2013

Gernot Rohr is counting on his players to be fully fit for the competition as Africa’s heavyweights will be in attendance. The Super Eagles are one of the favourites to win, but on the back of their display during the group stage of the World Cup qualifiers, their chances are limited.

Gernot Rohr has not been able to get the team playing with a visible identity nor getting the best out of the players. The German gaffer has suffered another setback, with limited time to correct the anomalies in the team ahead of AFCON.

Super Eagles number one goalkeeper is the latest Super Eagle to go down to injury as things go from bad to worse for the Super Eagles.

Maduka Okoye joins Victor Osimhen on the sidelines

The outlook for the Super Eagles ahead of the AFCON in Cameroon does not look rosy. The players are beginning to fall to injury.

With about six weeks to go, players need consistency to be in tip-top shape for the tournament, and the last thing a manager needs is an injury to his regulars.

Over the weekend, Super Eagles and Sparta Rotterdam number one goalkeeper Maduka Okoye joined the list of players knocked out by injury. The goalkeeper will spend time on the sidelines as he looks to recover from an injury he suffered over the weekend.

The injury to Okoye comes at a crummy time as the young goalkeeper has barely enough time to recover and be match ready for the African Nations Cup. The Watford-bound goalkeeper picked up a suspected shoulder injury in Sparta’s clash with Ajax Amsterdam. He had to be taken off midway into the first half of the game after a collision with Ajax number 9 Danilo.

It remains to be seen if the Nigeria Football Federation will include him in the team list when they announce the final roster for the tournament.

Nigeria’s preparation in unsteady water

When Napoli star Victor Osimhen suffered an injury against Inter Milan, Nigerians feared the worst. The Italian club confirmed the fears that Osimhen would not be part of the party to Cameroon.

The striker’s injury is still causing ripples within the Nigeria football circle, and Leon Balogun is down with an undisclosed ailment and out for Rangers last two matches. Okoye’s injury has come as a rude shock.

The 22-year-old who has risen above Francis Uzoho and Daniel Akpeyi in the pecking now faces a battle to be back in time to play in his first major tournament for the Super Eagles.

Of the six matches the Super Eagles played during the group stage of the World Cup qualifiers for Qatar 2022, Okoye started five and finished with three clean slates.

This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago

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