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‘Why Super Eagles Will Miss Osimhen More Than Dennis’ —AFCON Winner, Okpala

‘Why Super Eagles Will Miss Osimhen More Than Dennis’  —AFCON Winner, Okpala

Former Nigeria international Sylvanus Okpala has explained why he feels the absence of Victor Osimhen for this year’s AFCON would be felt more compared to that of Emmanuel Dennis.

Both Osimhen and Dennis were replaced by the Eagles coaching crew after they were initially included in the 28-man list.


There were huge doubts over Osimhen’s participation at the 2021 AFCON after suffering a facial injury.

Despite not being fully recovered the Napoli striker was listed for the AFCON, before he was eventually dropped after testing positive for COVID-19.

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For Dennis, Watford manager Claudio Ranieri revealed that Nigeria missed the deadline to inform the Hornets their intention to select him.

And following the absence of both stars Okpala, 1980 AFCON winner for Nigeria, stated why Osimhen will be missed more.

“Both players would be missed for the Super Eagles because they have been in fine form for their clubs this season,” Okpala said on Brila FM. “But for me the player who I feel will be missed more is Osimhen because he has delivered while playing for the Super Eagles.

“This would have been Osimhen’s AFCON but unfortunately injury has prevented him from representing Nigeria which is really sad.

“For Dennis he is a very good striker but he has not proven himself in the games he played for the Eagles, we have seen what Osimhen can do but Dennis we don’t know, he has only performed while playing club football and as we know country and club football are two different thing.

“So for me, Osimhen not going to the AFCON is a bigger miss compared to Dennis.”

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  • We will miss both of them but a whole lots of differences existed between them.
    1. As you rightly said, Osimhen has proved himself here.
    2. Despite recuperating from injury, Osimhen was hungry to represent us. That can’t be said of Dennis who at the slighted opportunity couldn’t pull through.
    3. Africa was on the look out for Osimhen in Cameroon. Dennis is little unknown in this part.

  • Osimhen and Dennis are two different players who SE will be needing alot in the future…….But to get the best out of them we need to overhaul the team and give them more responsibility in SE…….We need to make them feel important by placing more responsibility on their shoulders……The two of them have two characteristics in common which is their high spirit and their pace…….. they both relish a high tempo and competitive environment and it brings out the best in them.

  • Naija 5 months ago

    This interview is insulting to other strikers currently in camp. Have we forgotten that Osimeh was kept on bench during the last AFCON while Rhor played his man Ighalo for the most part?
    One thing I know is that a new Super Eagle star will emerge from this tournament, just as Oboabona and Sunday Mba emerged in 2013.

  • Obiweluozo 5 months ago

    That’s well stated @Naija.I have been sad with the way we rely on some players in the Super Eagles especially in the past. This has caused lack of certain opportunities for other decent players and when the need for a reliable to be replaced,arises,because we do not create competition in the team,however good the player is,the National team have paid dearly for it due to the inability to replace them.WE relied on the likes of Okocha,emenike,Victor Moses,Obafrmi Martins at a time and door were shot to some other talented players that are good enough to compete with the sole called reliable.I have always been looking forward to see the Super Eagles play without Osimhenand co.And I’m so happy that it will at least happen by force at AFCON and not at the World Cup proper.Osimhen is world-class believe me for real.but Nigeria is so so talented to even depend on Messi,not to talk of any player.Taking nothing really away from Osimhen and Dennis who is equally good as well.Imagine,these trio (when in form)below

    Isaac Success
    Samuel Kalu
    Ademola Lookman

    are not even in view and Nigeria can still present a quality team and such depth that can stake a claim at AFCON,with quality sides like Host Cameroon,Ghana,senegal,Algeria all competing not even forgetting group foe Egypt with Salah (Liverpool) and Elneny(Arsenal)waiting in the mix.Believe me Nigeria is so blessed.And I’m loving this array of talent we have available hoping every condition necessary for success are met for our darling Super Eagles to flourish from now on.Over reliance on a Nigeria player can make me sick and very sad.The options are so many I must say,and we must be diligent to find them wherever they are and give them a chance to perform especially in friendlies.God Bless Nigeria,Forza,Super Eagles.I love you all forumites.Hope we all can celebrate our team in the coming days in AFCON.Happy New Year.

  • Oga Okpala and you see nothing wrong with a mediocre captain wearing the armband and bringing mediocre bad luck and Karma to this team. Anumanu di ka gi