AFCON: ‘Pressure too much on Osimhen’ – Akwuegbwu urges Peseiro to play Iheanacho

Benedict Akwuegbu, 2000 African Cup of Nations, AFCON, silver medalist, on Monday called for the inclusion of Leicester City player, Kelechi Iheanacho, in the Super Eagles team in their quarter-final match against Angola on Friday.

Akwuegbu said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday.

He advised Peseiro to explore Iheanacho’s midfield talents.

“Super Eagles of Nigeria performed well during the match against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon beyond what we expected,” Akwuegbu said.

“The Super Eagles have the talents, they only need to play more as a team and get the midfield right. With this team, Nigeria can go far in the tournament and probably win it.

“For me, the Super Eagles need the experience of Iheanacho to reduce the burden of goal-scoring on Victor Osimhen. When people talk about Osimhen not scoring I do say that the pressure is too much on him.

“Osimhen is a great guy with good instincts for goals; his creativity in the team has been commendable so far, but the pressure is too much on him as a lone striker.”

Akwuegbu was emphatic that the team needed Iheanacho: “I think the team needs Iheanacho to ease the burden on Osimhen, playing with a lone striker with Osimhen in the front has put a lot of pressure on him.

“Iheanacho is the right man that can play behind Osimhen, or rather as an attacking midfielder.

“Most of the time we have won AFCON, we have used two strikers, either during Rashidi Yekini’s time or in 2013 when we had Brown Ideye and Emmanuel Emenike.

“If Osimhen has more room to operate against Angola, the load of goal scoring will be shared. We don’t have anything to lose if we use two strikers or make use of an attacking midfielder who has a goal instinct,” he said.

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