AFCON 2023: Why Osimhen’s Serie A suspension is good news for Super Eagles

Victor Osimhen of Nigeria and Napoli. (Photo Credit: Caughtoffside/X)

AFCON 2023: Why Osimhen’s Serie A suspension is good news for Super Eagles

Ayoola Kelechi 13:33 - 29.12.2023

Napoli will be without Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen for the last Serie A match of the year after he was sent off against Roma

Victor Osimhen, the Nigerian football star and reigning African Footballer of the Year, will miss Napoli’s final Serie A match of the year 2023, and while the striker’s suspension is a big blow to the Partenopei, fans of the Super Eagles cannot help but be happy, especially as the Africa Cup of Nations draws near.

Osimhen's recent suspension from Napoli’s Serie A match against Monza today is a result of a red card he received in the defending champion’s 2-0 loss to Roma.

The unexpected suspension, after Osimhen’s second-ever Serie A red card, has a silver lining, providing Osimhen with a unique opportunity to rest and prepare exclusively for the AFCON.

Osimhen's suspension and early arrival for AFCON preparations

This break from club duties could prove beneficial, allowing him to be in top physical and mental shape for the tournament.

Napoli's Victor Osimhen || Imago
Napoli's Victor Osimhen || Imago

It should allow Osimhen to travel to Nigeria earlier than expected, with the national team camp set to open early in January, before Napoli’s first match of the season.

This early arrival in Nigeria meant that Osimhen can now focus entirely on the upcoming continental tournament without the distractions of club commitments or the fear of injury in the last Serie A match before the Super Eagles camp opens.

Impact on AFCON and Nigeria's Hopes

The AFCON tournament is a significant event for African nations, and Nigeria is aiming to win its fourth title.

Victor Osimhen is up for the FIFA The Best Award
Nigeria Super Eagles main man Victor Osimhen (Photo Credit: CAF/X)

Osimhen's presence in the team is vital, as he has become a key figure for both Nigeria and Napoli since joining the Italian club in 2020 for a reported fee of around €80 million. His scoring prowess was evident as he finished as the top scorer in the AFCON qualifiers with 10 goals, and he has also been impressive in the Serie A this season.

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In total, Osimhen has scored 20 goals in 27 appearances for Nigeria and will be key in his first-ever senior tournament with the Super Eagles in Ivory Coast.

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