World Cup 26: Ndidi dismisses worries over Osimhen’s absence


Nigeria and Leicester City defender, Wilfred Ndidi, has said that the absence of top striker Victor Osimhen will not affect the overall performance of the Super Eagles in the forthcoming FIFA World Cup 26 double header, even as he promised to be among the early birds to hit the team’s camp on June 1 in Uyo.

The injured Napoli striker has been ruled out of both clashes against South Africa on June 7 in Uyo and on June 10 against Republic of Benin in their adopted home ground in Abidjan in Cote d’ Ivoire.

Speaking in Lagos at the New Maracana Complex in Ajegunle, Ndidi who paid a scheduled inspection to the complex to see the facility and an hostel he facilitated, said the Super Eagles have quality players who can deliver the six vital points without Osimhen.

He said: “Osimhen is a great player, he’s a hustler. I call him hustler because he plays like a street footballer with strength and strong mentality. There is no doubt that we are going to miss him. He’s quite important to the team because he drives the team forward and he has great impact.

“However, we have many great strikers who can bring their own dynamics into the team and make an impact. It’s all about the team. This is not the time to begin to think about him not been around but to go out there and win the matches and wish him the best as he recovers from his injury.”

Noting that he’s fully back to his best after series of injuries that denied him the Africa Cup of Nations, Ndidi said he believed in the team and the new head coach Finidi George to get the maximum points.

“Finidi is a great coach. I was with him in Morocco during the friendly matches, which was quite difficult for him because he was all alone. Now that he has the full complement of his assistants, we are going to see the best of him with the support of all Nigerians and the football federation.”

Ndidi who also spent quality time with hundreds of up and coming boys and girls that took to the pitches of the Maracana Complex, said he will join the Super Eagles camp in on Saturday.

Mike Ojo

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