Taiwo Awoniyi, Super Eagles forward, says Victor Osimhen deserves to be part of the Nigerian squad to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
The Union Berlin player said he feels bad that Osimhen won’t feature at the 33rd edition of the AFCON.
Awoniyi said the Napoli goal poacher’s contributions during the qualifiers helped Nigeria make it to the tournament.
Osimhen netted five goals in five matches during the qualifiers.
The former Wolfsburg player pulled out of the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.
Prior to testing positive, Osimhen’s club and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had been at loggerheads over his AFCON participation.
“To be honest for me, I really feel bad that Victor is not here with us because following the qualifiers during the national cup and World Cup, you could see the work he had done for the country in scoring the goals,” Awoniyi said.
“You see the shift in all the games and for him not to be in the tournament proper, I think it’s something that’s really bad. And I am sure that he will feel bad for himself too.
“And to me, for his absence it’s something I feel bad about. I think he deserves to be here for sure.”
Awoniyi said he did not set any target for himself ahead of the tournament, but he hopes to do his best for the team to have a successful outing.
“For me, I am not a player that set a target in terms of saying I am going score certain goals but it’s about setting up for the game and putting in the shift for the country and see how it goes,” he said.
Awoniyi earned his first cap for the Super Eagles during the 1-0 loss to the Central African Republic (CAR) at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.