Osimhen left out of Super Eagles World Cup qualifiers squad

Osimhen left out of Super Eagles World Cup qualifiers squad
Credit: Icon Sport

Napoli forward Victor Osimhen has been left out of the Super Eagles' squad for the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

The striker has been injured since the last international window when the Super Eagles faced off with Saudi Arabia where he was subbed off in that contest in Portugal last month.

Since then, Osimhen has not featured for club and country and he is not expected to make any competitive appearance until the latter part of the month.

With Osimhen out injured, Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro has opted to extend invite to a number of players and a return to some other ones.

Victor Osimhen not included in Super Eagles Squad

The list, which was made available to the public, consists of three goalkeepers, eight defenders, four midfielders, and eight forwards for the games coming up next week.

Head Coach Jose Santos Peseiro has invited goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Olaoluwa Aina, midfielders Alex Iwobi and Frank Onyeka, and forwards Moses Simon, Kelechi Iheanacho and Taiwo Awoniyi among a list of 23 players for this month’s 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

Goalkeepers Maduka Okoye, Francis Uzoho and Olorunleke Ojo, defenders Oluwasemilogo Ajayi and Bright Osayi-Samuel, midfielder Raphael Onyedika and forwards Ademola Lookman have been called up.

Leverkusen star Victor Boniface, who is expected to lead the line in the absence of Osimhen, and Terem Moffi have both been called up. The surprise addition though came in the form of Bayer Leverkusen star Nathan Tella, who earned his maiden call-up with the Super Eagles.

His invitation to the Super Eagles also coincides with the winger coming of his breakout season where he played in the Championship wit Burnley.

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Credit: Icon Sport

Like Osimhen, the likes of Samuel Chukwueze, and Wilfred Ndidi all miss out due to injury. In addition, captains Ahmed Musa and William Troost Ekong were also left out of the squad by Peseiro.

All the invited players (Full List)

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Omonia FC, Cyprus); Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba FC); Maduka Okoye (Udinese Calcio, Italy)

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Nottingham Forest, England); Chidozie Awaziem (Boavista FC, Portugal); Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Bruno Onyemaechi (Boavista FC, Portugal); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Calvin Bassey (Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (Cardiff FC, Wales)

Midfielders: Raphael Onyedika (Club Brugge, Belgium); Joe Ayodele-Aribo (Southampton FC, England); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Fulham FC, England)

Forwards: Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Sadiq Umar (Real Sociedad, Spain); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy); Nathan Tella (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany); Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest, England); Terem Moffi (OGC Nice, France); Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany)

Super Eagles begin World Cup journey without Osimhen

The Super Eagles will have to sort things out in their opening World Cup Qualfying matches without Victor Osimhen.

Osimhen, who has scored 20 goals for the Super Eagles in 27 apps, finished as the top scorer in the last Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers with 10 goals.

The Super Eagles kick-start their qualifiers with a clash with the Crocodiles of Lesotho at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo next week Thursday before flying to Rwanda for a clash with the Warriors of Zimbabwe at the Huye Stadium in Butare on Monday, 20th November.

This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago

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