Nathan Tella Withdraws from Super Eagles WCQ Squad, Replaced by Ibrahim Olawoyin

New Nigeria head coach Finidi George faces a significant challenge as versatile Bayer Leverkusen star Nathan Tella has withdrawn from the upcoming World Cup qualifying (WCQ) matches due to family reasons. The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) confirmed Tella’s excusal from the national team camp, leading to the call-up of Ibrahim Olawoyin from Turkish club Caykur Rizespor as his replacement.

Impact on the Super Eagles

Tella’s withdrawal is a major setback for Finidi George, who is already navigating his early days as head coach. Tella, 24, has had an impressive debut season at Bayer Leverkusen, featuring 36 times for the Bundesliga champions and contributing to their domestic double triumph. His performance included six goals and three assists, making him a crucial player for the team.

Replacement Call-Up

In response to Tella’s absence, Finidi George has called up Ibrahim Olawoyin, an ex-Rangers and NPFL star currently playing for Caykur Rizespor in the Turkish Super Lig. Olawoyin has been in good form, which earned him the national team call-up. The NFF swiftly drafted him to fill the void left by Tella.

Additional Challenges for Finidi George

This situation adds to the challenges Finidi George is facing as the new head coach. He has already had to replace star striker Victor Osimhen with Kenneth Igboko from Nigerian league leaders Rangers International. Despite these setbacks, Finidi remains focused on guiding the Super Eagles through a challenging World Cup qualifying campaign.

Key Statistics

  • Nathan Tella (Bayer Leverkusen, 2023/2024 Season):
    • Played: 36 matches
    • Goals: 6
    • Assists: 3
    • Minutes per game: 84
  • Ibrahim Olawoyin (Caykur Rizespor, 2023/2024 Season):
    • Played: 24 matches
    • Goals: 5
    • Assists: 2
    • Minutes per game: 39

Looking Ahead

As the Super Eagles prepare for their upcoming matches, the inclusion of Ibrahim Olawoyin will be crucial. Finidi George and his squad will hope Olawoyin can quickly adapt and make a significant impact, helping the team achieve their goals in the World Cup qualifiers.

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