The Nigeria Football Federation has announced that Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen, has been excused from the Super Eagles international friendly games against Algeria and Tunisia scheduled for Austria on October 9 and 13.
According to a post on the NFF twitter handle, it was stated that: “@victorosimhen9 has been excused from @NGSuperEagles’ games against Algeria and Tunisia. His replacement is Paul Onuachu.”
The real reason why the striker was excused from the two games was not stated but it might not be unconnected with COVID-19 pandemic currently ravaging the world. Osimhen’s club, Napoli, learned this week that midfielders Piotr Zielinski and Eljif Elmas had contracted coronavirus, with the squad’s other players returning negative tests.
The club later announced that both playing and coaching staff had been placed under isolation, throwing Sunday’s Serie A clash with Juventus into doubt, although the team later traveled for the game.
Osimhen joined Napoli from Lille in a big-money deal thought to be worth up to €80 million and has since been the focus of attention at the San Paolo. He made his debut in the Serie A season opener against Parma, winning plaudits for his impact with the short time he spent on the pitch.
He then went on to start the next match at home to Genoa, playing the entire 90 minutes and providing an assist for Piotr Zielinski’s goal with the game ending 6-0.
The match made bigger headlines than the scoreline after 14 Genoa players tested positive for Covid- 19. Meanwhile, Paul Onuachu, called to replace Osimhen will hope to continue his scoring form for Belgian Jupiler League side, Genk if given the opportunity to start any of the two games. Onuachu, has been having a good scoring run in the Belgian Jupiler League with Genk.
5His goal in Saturday’s draw at Waasland-Beveren was his seventh of the season in his seventh game which sees him lead the top scorer’s charts. The 26-year-old has won seven caps for Nigeria and has scored one goal, which came in a 1-0 friendly victory over Egypt on March 26, 2019.