The Super Eagles of Nigeria are facing a setback in their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign as midfielder Wilfred Ndidi has been ruled out of the tournament due to an injury sustained while playing for his English club, Leicester City. Despite making the final 25-man roster, Ndidi’s injury has prompted a late replacement, with Alhassan Yusuf stepping in to fill the void.
Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca confirmed the unavailability of both Ndidi and striker Kelechi Iheanacho for the AFCON, with doubts lingering over Iheanacho’s participation due to a muscle injury. Maresca mentioned that Ndidi joined Iheanacho in the treatment room after missing Leicester’s recent game against Huddersfield Town.
As the Super Eagles regroup for the AFCON in Ivory Coast, Alhassan Yusuf, a midfielder from Royal Antwerp, has been named as Ndidi’s replacement. The team is currently in camp in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), with 17 players present, including Musa, Omeruo, Simon, Ojo, Iwobi, Semi, Aina, Bassey, Lookman, Aribo, Onyeka, Bruno, Awaziem, Zaidu, Boniface, Onyedika, and Osayi Bright.
Super Eagles media officer Babafemi Raji provided an injury update, confirming Yusuf’s inclusion and expressing hope for Iheanacho’s timely recovery before the AFCON commences. Training sessions, under the guidance of coach Jose Peseiro, are set to commence in preparation for the tournament, which kicks off on January 13 in Ivory Coast.
The late call-up for Alhassan Yusuf adds an element of anticipation to the Super Eagles’ midfield dynamics, and fans will be closely watching how the team adapts to these last-minute changes in their quest for AFCON glory.