Days ago, Napoli FC and employers of Nigerian International Victor Oshimen released pictures of the 22 year old striker in training.
This came as a shock to many as he was earlier ruled out of footballing action till January at the earliest due to facial injuries sustained during a league game, which automatically ruled him out of making the team to represent Nigeria at the bi-annual competition.
However, there seems to be a miracle of some sort when he was seen on the field. Although Napoli has not changed their position on his medical prognosis, Nigerians are beginning to feel there is a chance he could be able to make the team, for obvious reasons.
Before his injury, he was the most prolific Nigerian striker abroad and his absence will definitely cost the super eagles his kind of fire power in front of goal.
Nigeria cannot force his team to release him especially if he’s been ruled out on medical grounds.
But imagine Nigeria at the Nations Cup, quarter finals and they lose 0-1 without Victor, who could have made the difference and then later that evening Napoli brings him on in a league match and he scores a brace to help Napoli secure all 3 points; the outrage from Nigerians would be unimaginable!
If truly he can make the team and not play till we get to later stages, should Rohr take the risk? Others can argue that why are we taking a half fit player to such an important competition when others who are equally as gifted and fully fit are left at home. It is a dicey situation that will require some level of maturity and patience both from the Napoli side and the Super Eagles.
Should we just concentrate on other options like Dennis at Watford Fc in England, Taiwo Awoniyi of Union Berlin in Germany or Paul Onuachu of Genk in Belgium and allow Victor to fully recuperate? What if he is rushed and it backfires? Other people have argued that he’s injury is not the football related ones like hamstring or knee so he can be gambled on, he might just have to wear a facial full mask like we have seen other players with head injuries have worn in the past do.
Nigeria has not win the AFCON since the year 2013 when they were led by the late Stephen Keshi to cup glory, since then, we have failed to qualify and the ones we did qualify to play, we ended up losing at the semi-finals so Nigerians are eager to get their best legs available in a bid to increase their chances of winning but it should not be at the detriment of another’s health. In as much as Victor is crucial to our campaign, the nation should not be too selfish to put his life at risk just to achieve her wishes.
What’s your take? For me, let the young man recover fully. We have a list of excellent strikers that can replace him, but please not in the mold of Ighalo; who recent was recalled out from retirement to the team, it was greeted with mixed reactions and the NFF were quick to defend the decision based on the fact that no other player offers his style of play, his presence in the team was also said to offer experience and leadership to the young ones. He is past his prime and should be allowed to retire and stay retired, Nigeria is blessed with wonderful talents all over the world, it will only require a hardworking coach to fish them out even from our domestic league.
Whether that coach will still be Rohr or another is still a grey area at this point as other coaches have started submitting their CVs for consideration, one of them being erstwhile Dream Team and Super Eagles coach Bonfere Jo!
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Abel Alasan is a creative writer with over 6 years creating contents for blogs, magazines and documentary projects. His areas of interest ranges from politics, lifestyle, family/parenting and sports.