The West African giants are the one unbeaten workforce remaining on the continental championship
Tremendous Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro has reserved excessive reward for the Nigerian duo of Victor Osimhen and Ademola Lookman following their performances on the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, Soccernet.ng studies.
Osimhen arrived on the AFCON because the reigning Africa Footballer of the 12 months, however he has discovered targets laborious to come back by in Cote d’Ivoire.
The Napoli striker has just one aim to his identify – scored within the 1-1 draw with Equatorial Guinea on matchday one – whereas he has had three different efforts cancelled by the VAR.
Whereas Osimhen’s targets dried up, Lookman stepped as much as the plate, netting three essential targets in the course of the knockout rounds to propel Nigeria to the ultimate of the competitors.
Peseiro is happy with Lookman, acknowledging that the Atalanta ahead is an influential member of the Tremendous Eagles squad together with his contribution.
The previous Actual Madrid assistant coach is, nevertheless, satisfied that Osimhen is essentially the most excellent Nigerian footballer in the intervening time.
“Our largest determine is Osimhen, who works laborious for the workforce: attacking, defending, and offering quite a lot of depth,” Peseiro mentioned.
He (Lookman) is a really large determine, however the primary determine is Osimhen, who kinds a workforce with collective spirit and believes in what we’re doing.”
Lookman performed for a number of England youth groups, successful the FIFA U20 World Cup with the European giants, earlier than committing to characteristic internationally for Nigeria two years in the past.
Peseiro admits that the previous Everton winger struggled initially to adapt to African soccer.
The Portuguese tactician has, nevertheless, confessed that Lookman is taking part in his greatest soccer for Nigeria after sacrificing rather a lot to be on the AFCON.
“He’s the son of Nigerians, and he already performed for England U-17s, however he got here to play with us, as others have,” Peseiro mentioned of Lookman.
“Lookman is having a incredible match, however when he arrived, he had difficulties adapting to African soccer, as others have. It’s a extra bodily, open, quicker soccer, much less organized. Some gamers want time, and Lookman is now at his greatest since becoming a member of the Nigerian workforce.
“Situations listed here are completely different; the meals, logistics, every part is completely different and requires extra sacrifice from gamers who’re used to having every part in Europe. It’s an entire completely different ball recreation right here.”
Lookman and Osimhen are anticipated to be among the many first names on the workforce sheet when Nigeria commerce tackles with hosts Cote d’Ivoire within the AFCON last on Sunday.