AFCON 2023: Injury Ravages Super Eagles Team as Paul Onuachu Replaces Sadiq Umar

AFCON 2023: Injury Ravages Super Eagles Team as Paul Onuachu Replaces Sadiq Umar

Chukwu Ikechukwu
updated at January 12, 2024 at 9:19 AM
In this article:
Sadiq Umar logo
S. Umar
Real Sociedad logoFNigeria logo
Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Nigeria logo
Victor Osimhen logo
V. Osimhen
Napoli logoFNigeria logo
Victor Okoh Boniface logo
V. O. Boniface
Bayer Leverkusen logoFNigeria logo
Paul Onuachu logo
P. Onuachu
Trabzonspor logoFNigeria logo
Wilfred Ndidi logo
W. Ndidi
Leicester City logoMNigeria logo
  • Paul Onuachu has been drafted into the Super Eagles' AFCON team
  • The 29-year-old Trabzonspor striker replaced the injured Sadiq Umar
  • Nigeria will kick off their Africa Cup of Nations campaign on January 14

The Super Eagles have suffered a major blow days before the kick-off of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations as striker Sadiq Umar has been ruled out of the competition.

The 26-year-old Real Sociedad forward sustained a knee injury in Nigeria’s friendly defeat to Guinea on Monday, which has effectively ruled him out of the competition.

Paul Onuachu, Super Eagles, Nigeria, AFCON 2023, NFF
Paul Onuachu has been handed a late call-up to the Super Eagles AFCON team by the Nigeria Football Federation. Photo by Anadolu
Source: Getty Images

According to Daily Post, Trabzonspor striker Paul Onuachu will now take the place of injured Sadiq in Nigeria’s squad and will join the rest of the team in Ivory Coast.

The 29-year-old forward, who won bronze with the Super Eagles in 2019, was initially named in Nigeria’s provisional 40-man squad for the AFCON but failed to make the final cut.

Before presenting Onuachu’s name to the Confederation of African Football, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) must first obtain consent from his Turkish club, Trabzonspor, before he joins the rest of the Super Eagles' squad.

Nigeria’s AFCON chances ruined again

Meanwhile, with the news of Umar being ruled out of the tournament, the Super Eagles' prospects of clinching the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations appear to have suffered a significant setback.

Nigeria has additionally faced setbacks with the loss of Wilfred Ndidi and Victor Boniface, both forced to withdraw from the Super Eagles squad due to injury.

Despite the injuries to key players, Nigeria still possesses a wealth of talented individuals who will need to step up and contribute an extra measure of quality.

AFCON 2023 Group A predictions

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations begins in three days, with the host team, Ivory Coast, opening Group A with a difficult match against Guinea-Bissau.

Group A is one of the most difficult in the competition, with three-time African champions Nigeria paired with Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea.

Fans and football commentators widely believe that the Elephants and Super Eagles will secure the top two qualification spots.

Chukwu Ikechukwu photo
Chukwu Ikechukwu
Chukwu Ikechukwu Godwin is a journalist with over 9 years of experience in the Nigerian media industry. He has worked both in Radio (Today FM, Rhythm FM, Wish FM) and Television (Silverbird TV) as a Sports Analyst..