AFCON 2023 blow for Nigeria as Taiwo Awoniyi faces lengthy spell on sidelines

In a setback for the Super Eagles ahead of the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2023, a recurring groin injury has ruled out striker Taiwo Awoniyi. The Nottingham Forest forward, who suffered the initial injury in October and aggravated it during the recent World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho, underwent surgery following a relapse.

Awoniyi’s absence was felt in the match against Zimbabwe, and the club confirmed that the 26-year-old will be sidelined for several months.

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper expressed his disappointment, stating, «It’s bad news for Taiwo, who had to undergo surgery and will be out for several months. We’ll support him and try to bring him back as quickly and as well as possible, but it’s a really unfortunate situation and a blow for him».”

This unfortunate development comes just as Awoniyi was making a comeback to the national team, eyeing a potential call-up for AFCON 2023.

Despite the setback, Nigeria still boasts a wealth of attacking options, including Victor Boniface, Kelechi Iheanacho, Terem Moffi, Ademola Lookman, and Umar Sadiq, ensuring that the team has alternatives in the attacking department.

The absence of injured players Victor Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze will be a challenge, but with a squad featuring eight forwards, including Awoniyi (before his injury), and the inclusion of talents like Gift Orban and Paul Onuachu, the coaching staff has viable options to choose from as they prepare for the continental tournament.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *