Super Eagles head coach, Jose Peseiro, and his versatile player, Kelechi Iheanacho, are reportedly having a loggerhead despite the seemingly togetherness in the team’s 2023 AFCON camp.
Recall that Kelechi Iheanacho was one of the last players to arrive on the Ivory Coast for the commencement of the 2023 AFCON. He reportedly arrived at the Super Eagles’ camp hours before the team’s opening game against Equatorial Guinea, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Iheanacho’s late arrival was said to be because he was just recovering from an injury that ordinarily ought to have ruled him out of the tournament. But because he was expected to be fit enough before the second game, he was allowed to join the team in Ivory Coast.
Since then, he has not played a minute in the 2023 AFCON despite training with the team as regularly as possible.
This sparked speculation that Iheanacho and Jose Peseiro had been fighting long before the commencement of the tournament.
But the Portuguese tactician told reporters that if he was fighting with the Leicester City forward, he wouldn’t have invited him for the tournament.
On why he hasn’t played the player since the tournament commenced, Jose Peseiro claimed Iheanacho wasn’t fully fit.
However, Soccernet, quoted by the Daily Post, claimed that Iheanacho hasn’t been playing in the 2023 AFCON because the coach has not been able to inculcate him into his 3-4-3 formation.
Iheanacho’s chances of playing continue to diminish because the formation seems to be working perfectly for the coach’s plans, hence, the coach often prefers to bring in defensive-minded players as substitutes instead of attackers.
The fact that Kelechi Iheanacho didn’t attend the pre-match press conference of the game between Nigeria and South Africa even though CAF had announced him as the player to come for the conference alongside coach Peseiro, further proved that all is not going well in the camp.
Instead of Iheanacho attending the press conference with the coach, the Portuguese tactician had to attend the conference with Fulham defender, Ola Aina.
Ahead of the semi-final clash with South Africa at 6 p.m. today, Iheanacho alongside, Terem Moffi, Ahmed Musa, and Bruno Onyemaechi, are among the star players that are yet to kick a ball in the tournament.
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