The Super Eagles also find themselves without established stars such as Taiwo Awoniyi, Victor Boniface and Sadiq Umar
Wilfred Ndidi has been a key figure in the Nigeria national team since making his debut in 2015 against DR Congo in a friendly showdown.
To accentuate his relevance in the Super Eagles, he boasts 54 international caps. Sadly, the 27-year-old will play no part for Jose Peseiro’s men at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
At club level, he has been consistent for Leicester City who are pushing for a return to the English Premier League. He accounts for two goals in 21 matches played for the Foxes so far.
The midfielder would have been expected to be one of Nigeria’s stars alongside Victor Osimhen, but he is among those watching on from afar as continental glory is chased down by others in Cote d’Ivoire.
Why is Ndidi still at King Power Stadium? Soccernet.ng takes a look…
Why is Wilfred Ndidi not playing at Afcon 2023?
The enterprising midfielder made Nigeria’s final 25-man squad pieced together by Jose Peseiro.
Nevertheless, a muscular problem dashed his hopes of appearing in the competition where the West Africans would be gunning for a fourth African crown.
— 🇳🇬 Super Eagles (@NGSuperEagles) January 3, 2024
In a recent interview, Leicester City handler Enzo Maresca claimed that he is awaiting a more detailed assessment of the former Genk midfielder’s injury.
“Probably for Wilf, it will be a long time,” Maresca told reporters.
“It could be three months. It looks like a muscular problem, but an important one, so we will see in the next hours but the situation for Wilf is probably the clearest one.”
He was replaced by Belgium-based midfielder Alhassan Yusuf.
How many Afcon has Ndidi taken part in?
Ndidi has so far played in two Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. He was included in Nigeria’s Afcon squad in 2019 for the very first time.
He played every minutes of Super Eagles’ campaign as Gernot Ror’s men finished with the bronze medal in Egypt.
On 25 December 2021, Ndidi was selected in Nigeria’s 2021 Afcon 28-man squad by Nigeria’s caretaker coach Austin Eguavoen. After the group stage – where the three-time African kings crashed out in the Round of 16 – Caf shortlisted him in the group stage’s best team as a substitute alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.