The Nigerian has been the Canaries’ finest player so far this season, but due to Afcon commitments, he may be out for a few weeks in January.

Antoine Kombouaré, the manager of Nantes, has expressed his anxiety over missing the Africa Cup of Nations in January due to the absence of Nigerian attacker Moses Simon.

Many anticipated Nantes to struggle again this season after narrowly avoiding relegation last season and making no key signings in the summer.

However, the Yellow Canaries are currently tenth in Ligue 1 after winning three and drawing one of their eight games.

Simon has been instrumental in Nantes’ recent success, with the 26-year-old providing five assists and one goal, accounting for more than half of the team’s 11 league goals.

If Nigeria advances to the Afcon semifinals, Nantes will be without the attacker for the whole of January and possibly beyond.

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – OCTOBER 13: Roberto Firmino of Brazil and Moses Simon of Nigeria challenge for the ball during the international friendly match between Brazil and Nigeria at the Singapore National Stadium on October 13, 2019 in Singapore. (Photo by Lionel Ng/Getty Images)

On January 11, 2021, at the Roumdé Adjia Stadium in Garoua, the Super Eagles kick off their Afcon campaign with a potentially thrilling match against North African heavyweights Egypt.

Other Group D games against Sudan and Guinea-Bissau are planned as the three-time African winners try to traverse a difficult group that includes three past champions.

To compete against defending champions Algeria, championship contenders Senegal, and hosts Cameroon, Nigeria will need all of her finest legs.

Simon, Nantes’ August player of the month, is one of head coach Gernot Rohr’s most reliable players, and he will almost certainly make the Super Eagles team list for the Afcon.

Nantes manager Kombouaré is aware that his side would struggle without their top player, but he is certain that others will step up and produce in his absence.

“I’ve been thinking about it since the start of the season,” Kombouaré said at a press conference as per Homme Du Match.

“But what I want is for the players who are with us to perform very well so that we win as many matches in order to be in the best possible place before that time.

“But one thing at a time. The risk is always present. He may be less efficient, may get injured… The opponents can also block him more because his game may be more readable, but these are my choices.

“If there is something, we will adapt with players who I hope will be as efficient as him.”

Apart from Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, no player in Europe’s top five divisions has more assists than the former Levante man.