AFCON 2023: Another blow for Nigeria as striker pulls out

Nigeria’s preparation for the AFCON 2023 has taken another hit as Real Sociedad striker Sadiq Umar has been ruled out of the tournament.

The 26-year-old sat out two of the Super Eagles training sessions since arrival in the Ivory Coast after complaining of discomfort in his knees.

He reportedly got injured in Nigeria's loss to Guinea over the weekend and although he was hopeful of being fit for the tournament, it has turned out not to be the case. He will need about a month to get back to fitness and this has effectively ruled him out of the tournament.

Super Eagles striker Sadiq Umar is out of AFCON 2023
Sadiq Umar © Victor Modo

Nigeria's injury woes continue before AFCON 2O23 start

This adds to the Super Eagles' injury concerns, with two players already sidelined. Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho is also on the treatment table and in a frantic race against time to regain fitness for the tournament.

Antwerp’s Alhassan Yusuf has replaced the injured Wilfred Ndidi, while Terem Moffi, from OG Nice, will join the squad this weekend, taking the spot vacated by Bayer Leverkusen striker Victor Boniface.

Umar out, Onuachu in for AFCON 2023

Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro has decided to call up Trabzonspor striker Paul Onuachu as Sadiq Umar's replacement, pending approval from his Turkish club.

According to CAF regulations, injury-induced replacements can be made up to 24 hours before the team's first game at the AFCON.

Paul-Onuachu
Paul Onuachu

Onuachu, 29, who has scored nine goals with three assists at his club-side in this season missed the last AFCON in Cameroon due to injury.

The Super Eagles will play their first game in the tournament when they face Equatorial Guinea on Sunday, January 14.

AFCON 2023: Another blow for Nigeria as striker pulls out
Andrew Randa

Andrew Randa is a seasoned Africa sports journalist, and a former Media Officer for Nigeria's U-20 national team. He is widely acknowledged as an authority on the NPFL and African football, Randa is esteemed for his expertise in football content creation. Furthermore, he holds the distinction of being Nigeria's foremost sports kit designer and a trailblazer in the realm of sports graphics in Nigeria.