The Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has been criticized by a sect of the Italian press for handing an invite to injured Napoli attacker Victor Osimhen for Nigeria’s last World Cup qualifying matches in November.
After four games, the Super Eagles are in first place in their qualifying group and must win at least one of the next two games to advance to the playoffs.
As a result, it was unsurprising when coach Rohr chose leading goalscorer Osimhen in a 22-man squad to face Liberia and Cape Verde.
During the Afcon qualifications, Osimhen tied for the most goals (five) with Leicester City’s Patson Daka, smoothing Nigeria’s path to Cameroon 2022.
The former CAF Youth Footballer Of The Year has two goals in four 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup qualification games, demonstrating his value to the national team.
However, the 22-year-old suffered a gastrocnemius contracture in his right calf during practice ahead of Napoli’s Serie A match at Salernitana last weekend.
He is expected to miss the Partenopei’s Europa League match against Legia Warsaw on Thursday due to his calf injury. His participation in this weekend’s match against Verona is also uncertain.
Rohr has recalled retired striker Odion Ighalo and extended invitations to Genk’s Paul Onuachu and Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho since he is aware that Osimhen may not be totally fit for the November international games.
Italian publications Corriere Dello Sport as per Tutto Napoli, is unhappy with the German tactician and his staff for refusing to “understand the current physical conditions of the Napoli centre forward.
But they want him in Lagos and plan to use him in the two matches scheduled with Liberia, on November 13 and against Cape Verde on 16.”
This season, Osimhen has been perhaps Napoli’s greatest performer in all competitions, scoring nine goals in 12 appearances for the Neapolitans.