Napoli striker Victor Osimhen has joined the rest of the Super Eagles squad as they intensify preparations for Saturday’s 2022 Fifa World Cup qualification fixture against Liberia.
The youngster was part of the Parthenopean team that settled for a 1-1 draw with Verona in Sunday’s Serie A fixture.
However, he has teamed up with Gernot Rohr’s side in Tangier for the crunch fixture against Peter Butler’s men, and he was part of the three-time African champions’ gym session.
Returning striker Odion Ighalo is still expected alongside Enyimba goalkeeper John Noble – who was drafted in as a last-minute replacement for injured Cyprus-based star Francis Uzoho.
Ighalo – who was the top scorer at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations – rescinded his decision to quit international football after a two-year hiatus, a verdict that saw him invited for the fixtures against Liberia and Cape Verde.
Should he fail to turn up, coach Rohr will have to rely on the services of Ahmed Musa, Moses Simon, Osimhen, Paul Onuachu, Chidera Ejuke and Samuel Chukwueze.
In a recent interview, former Nigeria star Garba Lawal claimed that the comeback of the Saudi Arabia-based goal merchant will bring competition to the Super Eagles.
“He has the experience, so I will say this is a fantastic development,” he told Goal.
“Truth be told, his experience is needed because those younger players like [Kelechi] Iheanacho, and [Taiwo] Awoniyi need someone like him around them.
“They will surely learn from him. Also, Nigerians should not expect Ighalo to play every game or for 90 minutes because when you are aging, the body will not pick on time.”
The former Levski Sofia and Roda JC Kerkrade man does not feel his return is a wrong step because of the dynamics in African football.
“We know we have a lot of young strikers which is very good for us as a nation but because African football is very tough, you must have that luck to keep on scoring for the national team,” he continued.
“Our strikers do well for their clubs but when it comes to Nigeria, they always find it very difficult.
“I believe the return of Ighalo will bring competition to that [attacking] department. If I was still at the Super Eagles, this will enable me to step up my game.” (Goal)