Leicester City risks losing Wilfred Ndidi for more than three months after picking up an injury few days before the Africa Cup of Nations tournament
Ibrahim Gusau, the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, has assuaged fears surrounding Wilfred Ndidi’s departure from the Super Eagles squad ahead of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, Soccernet.ng reports.
Ndidi, a key player in Peseiro’s squad, has been replaced by Royal Antwerp player Alhassan Yusuf after sustaining an injury ahead of the Super Eagles AFCON 2023 campaign.
In an interview on Francis Achi’s YouTube channel, Gusau, the number one authority of the NFF, stressed that he does not feel unduly concerned about Ndidi’s absence from the squad, emphasising the team’s ability to perform well even without the midfielder.
“I don’t have any tension because I know we played a lot of matches without Ndidi, and we won a lot of matches without Ndidi. We played a lot of matches with Ndidi and lost unexpectedly, so it’s not about Ndidi, it’s about the national team of Nigeria,” he remarked.
Yusuf, currently making an impact for Antwerp, notably scored a goal in their UEFA Champions League match against Portuguese opposition and provided an assist in their victory against Barcelona.
Gusau expressed confidence in Yusuf’s potential contributions to the AFCON campaign, citing his impressive performance against Barcelona as a positive indicator.
“The young boy that was brought in now, Yusuf, is also doing wonderfully well with his team. When they played against Barcelona, you can see the performance he put on in the win against Barcelona in the Champions League,” Gusau stated.
Drawing parallels to Sunday Mba’s pivotal performance in AFCON 2013, Gusau hopes that the young Nigerian talent, Yusuf, might replicate a similar impact.
“He’s also a young boy, maybe it’s an opportunity for him to do a miracle. Don’t forget everybody did not have confidence in Mba when we went to the AFCON in 2013 and at the end of the day Mba was part of the players that performed a miracle,” Gusau noted.
Highlighting the team’s focus beyond Ndidi’s absence, Gusau reiterated, “Nobody knows what Yusuf is going to be in the team, so it’s not about Ndidi, it’s about the Super Eagles.”
The Super Eagles are scheduled to face Guinea in an upcoming preparatory match before heading to Cote d’Ivoire for their AFCON campaign.