The three-time African champions have suffered a massive blow ahead of the showpiece next year after one of their key players was ruled out of the competition.
Nigeria will be without midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations as the Watford enforcer has been ruled out of action for four to five months due to a torn quad muscle.
Etebo has sealed a place in Xisco Munoz’s lineup since he arrived at Vicarage Road on loan from Stoke City.
However, the former Galatasaray was taken off in Watford’s Premier League fixture against Newcastle last week because he sustained an injury.
In a release via Watford’s website, the hornets announced that Etebo would be out till next year.
“Midfielder Peter Etebo tore a quad muscle towards the end of the Newcastle United game last weekend and is expected to be out for between four to five months.”
Etebo has been an ever-present force to reckon with in the Super Eagles fold, as since making his debut in July 2013 under the tutelage of the late Stephen Keshi, he has gone on to play 32 games.
The 25-year-old played in all seven games in the run-up to Nigeria’s third-place finish at the 2019 AFCON that was held in Egypt.
His absence would be felt as his aggressive style of play, and his work rate would surely be missed.
However, Super Eagles gaffer Gernot Rohr could switch tactics or employ Malmo star Innocence Bonke to fill his spot.