Eguavoen reveals Osimhen’s reason for opting out of AFCON squad
Augustine Eguavoen has spoken extensively on Victor Osimhen missing the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations coming up next week.
Speaking to NFF TV, as seen on AllNigeriaSoccer, the interim Eagles coach revealed details of the efforts he made to convince the 23-year-old striker but it was to no avail, as it was vivid the player’s health status wasn’t at 100%.
“Osimhen, it’s a pity he’s not going to be in the AFCON, he told me he’ll be in AFCON in spirit. Practically he pleaded and I could see reasons,” Eguavoen told NFF TV.
“We tried for like hours, we spoke about it, he said first that’s my concern, that’s everyone’s concern but the fact that we want him to be on the pitch back what he knows how to do best – scoring goals, hustling people.
Osimhen, who contracted COVID-19 four days ago in Lagos, has been replaced in the Nigeria squad by Olympiakos winger Henry Onyekuru.
Eguavoen also stated that Osimhen feels he won’t be putting his best if he agrees on going with the squad to the tournament.
“When he spoke to me you could see that he was disappointed.
“He said to me coach, ‘I’d love to but you have to understand for the fact that I’m not okay and I don’t want to go to AFCON not giving a hundred percent and that won’t be good’, I said okay why not, we let it be.”
Eguavoen also mentioned that the Napoli marksman still needs re-evaluation on the facial injury he sustained two months ago against Inter Milan.
“I gave him few hours called him back again, same story. You can understand. Even at that he has to do some evaluation on his surgery I think on the fourth or fifth before they will now even give a final nod,” he further added.
“With that sort of injury we have to consider the young man’s health as well, it was a tough one.
“We spoke three or four different occasions before at midnight I said okay you know what let it be and there’s always a tomorrow. His health first,” Eguavoen concluded.
The Eagles will begin their AFCON challenge next month with a big duel against the Pharaohs of Egypt on January 11.
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