The Super Eagles camp for the Afcon opens in late December, but quite a few Nigerian stars may not arrive at the camp until the new year
Nigerian defender Zaidu Sanusi will not make it to the Uyo camp of the Super Eagles until the last day of December at the earliest as Porto need the 24-year-old to be involved in their doubleheader against bitter rivals Benfica at the end of the month.
Porto will first play hosts to Benfica at the Estádio do Dragão in a Taça de Portugal Round of 16 matchup on December 23.
Seven days later (December 30), the two teams return to the same stadium to trade tackles in a game week 16 league clash.
Porto, joint leaders with Sporting Lisbon, currently sit atop the league standings with 38 points, four more than third-place Benfica.
And according to Portuguese publications A Bola, the Blue and Whites will not allow Sanusi to leave the club before those games, especially with head coach Sergio Conceicao’s second option at left-back, Brazil’s Wendell Borges, presently sidelined through injury.
When unveiling part of his plans for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, interim head coach Augustine Eguavoen noted that the Super Eagles camp would open just after Christmas.
But several integral members of the national team will not be on the ground on that date.
Scottish champions Rangers are keen to keep hold of Joe Aribo, Leon Balogun, and Calvin Bassey until the Gers’ January 2 Premiership tie against rivals Celtic.
Victor Osimhen is reportedly racing against time to recover from his injury and be available for the Super Eagles after Napoli’s Serie A clash with Juventus on January 6.
Eguavoen already admitted that he is still putting together the Super Eagles list for the 2021 Afcon, but Sanusi is likely to be in the final squad.
Sanusi has made six appearances for the Super Eagles since making his debut for the three-time African champions last year.
And he is expected to go head-to-head with Paderborn’s defender Jamilu Collins for the left-back spot.