John Obi Mikel and Odion Ighalo are two stars who have retired from the national team and Oghenekaro Etebo believes the Super Eagles squad are yet to recover from their absence.
Mikel, 32, was the first to bow out before Egypt 2019 top scorer Ighalo followed in same path.
Etebo said it was clear that Nigeria would miss Mikel and Ighalo for their leadership attributes, but believes Osimhen can fill the vacuum left by the Manchester United striker.
“They are leaders who we are going to miss in the dressing room,” the Getafe man told The Punch.
“Mikel was a leader; I recall how he helped us during the Olympics when we had issues during our preparations for the Games. Not because I played with him but for the impact he had on me as a player.
“They helped the team make vital decisions during tough times and I guess it was just time for them to move on.
“Ighalo on his part is a goal poacher that we also miss but thank God that we have another goal poacher in [Victor] Osimhen, but we have to be patient with him to settle in well into that role.”
After the coronavirus pandemic, Coach Gernot Rohr is expected to begin life without the retired players and put faith in the likes of Joe Aribo, Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen as replacements as the three-time African kings would be hoping to qualify for the 2021 AFCON billed for Cameroon.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago