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Soccer News of Saturday, 14 October 2023


Saudi Friendly: Peseiro explains Osimhen’s early substitution

Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen

Head coach of the Super Eagles, Jose Peseiro, has provided detailed insights into why he replaced Napoli forward, Victor Osimhen, with Terem Moffi, in the 55th minute of the game.

Osimhen, the 24-year-old Nigerian forward, had 58 minutes to play when he was substituted due to an injury. Peseiro mentioned that the decision was made to avoid risking any of his players, as they send reports to each player’s clubs at the end of the match.

This substitution could be another setback for Peseiro’s team, following Taiwo Awoniyi’s injury, which could potentially sideline their talisman for the upcoming match against Mozambique on Monday.

Peseiro informed the media after the game that Osimhen would undergo an MRI scan to assess the extent of his injury, which would ultimately determine his participation against Mozambique.

“Victor has gone to the room now, for an MRI [scan] to check the situation. We have good coordination and communication with the clubs. I don’t know if you know, but we send reports to the clubs at the end of each match. We have connections with the physiotherapists and the coach, all of them.” he said.

Peseiro emphasized that Osimhen is a crucial player, both for the national team and his club Napoli. It is their responsibility to ensure his well-being.

“Our responsibility is to control the health of our players. He is a fantastic player. Napoli needs him, and we need him also. It is our responsibility to do everything, to speak with the doctor for Osimhen, [and] call the clinicals to check if he can play or not. But in three days, we would put Osimhen on time watch.” he continued.

Regarding Osimhen’s availability for the match against Mozambique, Peseiro mentioned that a test would be conducted, and if there’s no improvement, the club will make the necessary decisions.

He added: “At this moment, it is my opinion, will I go and put in a player with an injury? A month’s injury, or even two? It is better to put it in his mind now. He is going to do the test, check, and if it doesn’t improve, you must expect the club [to make the final decisions], the club pays the salary for him. Not only for Osimhen but for our players.”

In their recent match, the Super Eagles of Nigeria drew 2-2 against Saudi Arabia’s national team. The team was hoping to build on their previous success against São Tomé and Príncipe, but Osimhen’s injury may affect their match preparations for the 2023 AFCON tournament.