Head coach of the Super Eagles, Jose Peseiro, has said he is “confused” by reports that Umar Sadiq will play for Real Sociedad just days after pulling out of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations due to injury.
Sadiq’s spot was taken by Paul Onuachu, who came on as a substitute as Nigeria drew 1-1 with Equatorial Guinea in their opening match at the Cup of Nations on Sunday.
“I am confused also,” Peseiro told reporters in Abidjan when asked how the 26-year-old could have recovered already from a knee injury he believed would prevent the player from having any involvement at the AFCON.
“I received a report from the medical team that he is injured and he cannot recover in 15 days at least.
“The report went to the club and the club said he must go back to recover — they even said there was a possibility he might need surgery.
“We had a meeting with our staff and the player wanted to stay, like I did, but on the last day that we could replace a player, we decided to replace him.”
The 1-1 result has left Peseiro’s side under some pressure ahead of their second game, against hosts Ivory Coast on Thursday.
“I am happy because he has recovered well but I am sad that he is not here to help us,” Peseiro added of Sadiq, who suffered the injury in a pre-tournament friendly against Guinea.