Super Eagles goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye, has revealed his hidden ambition for Feyenoord attacker Cyriel Dessers to replace Al-Shabab striker Odion Ighalo in Nigeria’s 28-man squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
Victor Osimhen and Odion Ighalo will not be joining the team at the biennial continental competition.
The most preferred center forwards, Victor Osimhen of Napoli and Paul Onuachu of Genk are ruled out of AFCON and the interim coach, Augustine Eguavoen, has now turned to tournament debutants Taiwo Awoniyi of Union Berlin and Umar Sadiq of Almeria.
Ighalo who was the highest goal scorer at the 2019 edition, was recalled from retirement to provide much-needed experience to a mainly inexperienced attack.
His Saudi Arabian club, though, has refused to let him play in the championship.
With the Feyenoord star in fine form, Dessers is one of the players that might replace Ighalo. In the Europa Conference League, the 27-year-old has four goals in six games, while in the Netherlands’ Eredivisie, he has four goals in only 333 minutes.
Despite the fact that Eguavoen has ruled out inviting Dessers regardless of what occurs between Ighalo and Al Shabab, Okoye is still hoping for a miracle to get the ex-Utrecht player to Cameroon.
“Victor Osimhen cannot participate and his replacement, Odion Ighalo, is having trouble getting permission from his club in Saudi Arabia,” the 22-year-old told RTV Rijnmond, as per FeyenoordPings.
“If that doesn’t work, I think Dessers should be called up. I secretly still hope for that.”
When they meet seven-time Afcon champions Egypt on Tuesday, the three-time AFCON champions will have to be at their best to obtain a favorable outcome.