Osimhen left out of Nigeria squad for Ghana and Mali friendlies

Osimhen left out of Nigeria squad for Ghana and Mali friendlies
Photo by Icon Sport

The Super Eagles are preparing for two friendlies against Ghana and Mali, with Victor Osimhen a massive doubt for the two games following his recent club travails.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), who are yet to announce a new coach for the Super Eagles, will be led by George Finidi, who looked forward to the presence of the Napoli star.

The friendlies against the Black Stars of Ghana and the Eagles of Mali are due for the 22nd and 26th of March as a runout for the Nigeria national team.

The latest report from the Super Eagles camp suggests that Osimhen has been left out of the squad to take on Ghana and Mali due to an injury.

Osimhen out of Ghana, Mali games

Osimhen out of Super eagles friendlies
Photo by Icon Sport

The Super Eagles will play their first game this year since their AFCON 2023 adventure, where they were losing finalists to the hosts Ivory Coast.

The Nigeria national team, whose coach Jose Peseiro quit after the expiration of his contract, will be led by Finidi, but Napoli striker Osimhen is confirmed to miss the game.

Osimhen is said to be nursing an injury. In the weekend tie against Inter Milan, Osimhen was on the bench as the Serie A defending champions forced the runaway league leaders to a 1-1 draw.

According to Napoli coach Francesco Calzona, Osimhen skipped training for a few days last week.

He had partial work with his teammates and should have missed the trip to Milan, but he made it to the bench.

Calzona claimed Osimhen has an inflammation of the scar from an old injury.

Finidi will have to make do with other strikers in the team to deliver the goods against Ghana and Mali.

Other players to miss the two friendlies

Gabriel Osho joins Osimhen on the sidelines
Photo by Icon Sport

Osimhen is not the only player sidelined from the two friendlies against Nigeria's West African neighbours. A few other players will not be in action due to injury.

Top of the bill is Luton Town defender Gabriel Osho, who was supposed to make his Super Eagles debut.

The injury to Gabriel Osho is unspecified, and as such, the length of his stay on the sidelines is still unknown.

The Luton Town defender copped the injury in a tightly contested 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace in a Premier League fixture. He made way for Cauley Woodrow in the 81st minute of the game.

Another player who will join Osimhen on the sidelines is Tyronne Ebuehi.

The full-back, who was to make his comeback to the Super Eagles, saw the opportunity disappear after picking up an injury in Empoli's 0-1 defeat to Bologna.

Ebuehi has made 15 appearances for Empoli this term but is now out for the rest of the Serie A 2023/24 season. Empoli's doctors say he copped a partial injury of the anterior cruciate ligament to the right knee.

Taiwo Awoniyi will also be missing for the Super Eagles international friendlies.

The Nottingham Forest forward seemed on the cards to return to the national team following an injury that kept him out of AFCON 2023, but he missed the 1-1 draw away to Luton Town due to injury.

According to Forest, the injury will keep him on the bench till April.

It is a massive blow for Nottingham Forest, battling against relegation following a four-point deduction that has seen the club drop into the relegation zone.

Awoniyi should miss about five matches for the Tricky Trees in a period that could be decisive for them.

The Super Eagles will play the Black Stars of Ghana and the Egles of Mali in Morocco following the withdrawal of the Albiceleste of Argentina.

This article was most recently revised and updated 4 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter. Chooka has a passion for football and has been a fan of Enugu Rangers (over 30 years) and Real Madrid (Since 1996).