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[Photos] NFF chief Pinnick visits Ndidi, Iheanacho & Etebo, says ‘vibe going into AFCON is very good’

The president of the Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick disclosed that he visited Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho and also met with Oghenekaro Etebo and his family in England, stating that the vibe ahead of the Super Eagles remaining World Cup qualifying games and the African Cup of Nations in January is very good.

Pinnick noted that Ndidi and Etebo are recuperating well from injury and revealed that a switch for Ademola Lookman to the Super Eagles will be made soon.

L-R: Iheanacho, Pinnick and Ndidi

Additionally, he said he spoke with Odion Ighalo – who’s currently with Al-Shabab in Saudi Arabia and has scored eight goals in nine Saudi Pro League games – and believes that the striker’s experience combined with the youthful zeal of strikers like Victor Osimhen, Iheanacho, Paul Onuachu and co. will be beneficial for the Super Eagles.

Etebo, who plays in midfield for Watford at club level, had a surgery for a torn quad muscle earlier this month and won’t be back in action until January or February next year.

Pinnick with Etebo

Ndidi has been out of action for Leicester since late September due to injury but is now closing in on a return.

Meanwhile, Ademola Lookman is currently on loan at Leicester from RB Leipzig and has featured four times for the Foxes in the Premier League this season.

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Full statement

“I spent quality time with Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Ihenacho in Leicester over the weekend. I went with my wife and 3 of my kids who are on half term break. Our visit was a mere family visit and not official.

“Recall Wilfred is recuperating from an injury that has kept him out for about 5 weeks, being a very key player for the Super Eagles, we cannot afford to toy with our last 2 games. Ndidi has been integral, committed and passionate member of the Super Eagles.

“The good news is that his second scan came out very good so he start training with his club and possibly play in their next game. His wife, Dinma was a wonderful host, their little daughter, adorable. Kelechi joined us almost immediately and made us to laugh till we left. Thanks to Wilfred & Kelechi, my family truly appreciate you.

“I also paid a visit to Oghenekaro Etebo. In Warri, we call him ‘Afaras’. He is also recuperating very well but definitely cannot make the next two World Cup qualifiers. Nations Cup might also be a doubt. Importantly he should heal 100% by His Grace and rejoin the team.

“His family was quite warm and pleasant. We had quality time together and understood every language uttered as 2 proud Warri ‘boys’. He is in a great spirit with the right mental state of mind.

Pinnick with Etebo’s family

“I spoke extensively with Alex Iwobi, who cannot wait to feature in those all important games.

“Ademola Lookman is excited about fighting for a shirt in the Super Eagles. He loves Nigeria. By His Grace we shall conclude the switch very soon.

“I had a long conversation with Odion Ighalo. Personally I believe we need experience in our attack to combine with our energetically youthful Osinmeh, Onuachu, Kelechi et al. Odion body language is very positive. We are also in touch with his agents and club.

“The vibe going into these last 2 games and indeed AFCON is very good.

“WE THANK GOD ALMIGHTY FOR EVERYTHING”

Nigeria, who are top of their World Cup qualifying group, will play Liberia and Cape Verde next month.

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