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Does fan reaction to Dessers highlight more Super Eagles problems?

2:00 PM MYT 08/01/2022
Cyriel Dessers - Feyenoord
The 27-year-old has a rare chance to represent the Super Eagles after a technicality rules out another striker

Cyriel Dessers could have been set to play a major role for Nigeria at the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations after a contractual issue between Odion Ighalo and his club Al-Shabab ruled him out of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Dessers switched allegiances from Belgium to Nigeria in 2019 and has received two call-ups since then. He earned one cap in a friendly in 2020 and has not been back in the squad since.

Despite his fine form, former manager Gernot Rohr continued to ignore him for reasons best known only to the Franco-German and his staff.

Had the 68-year-old stayed on as Nigeria's coach, Dessers would not have been the player to replace Ighalo following the latest developments.

Interim manager, Augustine Eguavoen - who earlier confessed to not knowing much about the striker - looked set to call him up only for Caf to prevent the move as Ighalo did not miss out as his reason for not being part of the squad is not injury-related.

It is worthy of note that a large section of Nigeria fans did not see reasons for Ighalo's initial call-up to the squad as he had retired in 2019 from international duties. The news following the veteran striker's possible exclusion had brought about a lot of enthusiasm and with Dessers touted as the possible replacement, hopes had been high.

The enthusiasm among Super Eagles supporters around Dessers' potential inclusion demonstrates just what Nigeria are missing out on by not having the in-form Feyenoord striker within their ranks, and highlights what they may be missing up front now that the hitman will not be with the team.