• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Osimhen ruled out of Super Eagles friendlies against Ghana and Mali


Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen has been ruled out of Nigeria’s upcoming friendlies against the Black Stars of Ghana and Mali as Napoli confirmed that their star player has not been declared fully fit to play for now.

The 25-year-old had been dealing with fitness issues and started on the bench for Napoli in a crucial Serie A clash with Inter Milan on Sunday.

Napoli coach Francesco Calzona recently revealed the Nigeria international has not been given a clean bill of health to start playing football and is not on the list of players Napoli released for international duty.

Osimhen has an inflammation of the scar from an old injury,” Calzona told DAZN.

Serie A champions are taking precautionary measures not to escalate his injury and will not want to release Osimhen for Nigeria’s next friendly matches.

The former Lille forward had missed training sessions and only participated in partial workouts with his teammates during the week. Due to an inflammation of a scar from a previous injury, Osimhen’s involvement in the game was initially uncertain.

The Super Eagles are scheduled to face Ghana’s Black Stars and the Eagles of Mali in international friendlies on March 22 and 26 respectively, to be held in Morocco.

Also, the Partenopei have been struggling this season and are currently seventh on the league table, having Osimhen around for their next matches against Atalanta will make a huge difference in the team in their pursuit of European football next season.

According to an Italian media outlet, Alfredo Pedulla said Napoli have not granted Osimhen permission to join the Super Eagles camp for the upcoming friendly matches.
The report further added that Napoli are also seeking to negotiate with the Nigerian Football Federation to prevent Osimhen’s involvement in the friendlies.

“SSC Napoli has communicated, through its official website, the list of Italian players called up by their respective national teams and Victor Osimhen is not among the players involved,” as quoted by Alfredo Pedulla.

“The striker will not start for Nigeria to recover from the injury that forced him to stop playing against Inter.”

Also, Italian journalist Pasquale Tina, Napoli will be missing about ten players in the international break and coach Calzona will not be willing to let Osimhen accept Nigeria’s invitation for the upcoming friendlies.

“In this period of national team matches, Napoli will be missing ten players,” Tina said as quoted by Area Napoli.

“Osimhen is not well due to fatigue from a scar from a previous injury and the idea is not to let him leave for Nigeria, but to leave him in Castel Volturno to work for two weeks, in the hope that his condition will improve.

“Osimhen has not been well and did not train all week. On Sunday he went on the bench more to encourage his teammates than others, so much so that he never warmed up.”

Despite missing some matches due to injury and while representing Nigeria at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, Osimhen has scored 13 goals in 24 appearances across all competitions this season.