Siasia : Sadiq Umar Is Outstanding, He Can Win Nigeria The 2023 AFCON

Former Olympic Eagles(U-23), head coach Samson Siasia, canvas for more game time in the Super Eagles for Real Sociedad forward Umar Sadiq reports.

Sadiq Umar, under the tutelage of Samson Siasia helped Nigeria’s Olympic Eagles(U-23) win bronze at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil.

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Super Eagles team at the Mobolaji Johnson Stadium, Onikan, Lagos.

Umar after rupturing his knee ligament endured a poor start to life at Real Sociedad after completing a move from Almeria last year. The former AS Roma forward, spent almost a year on the sidelines; but he’s now back to full fitness, scoring goals for the Spanish outfit.

Last week, Super Eagles 40-man AFCON provisional list was made public, and Umar made the cut. And Siasia who discovered Umar is clamouring for his inclusion in the final 27-man squad that will execute the 2023 AFCON.

What Samson Siasia said about Umar Sadiq

According to Siasia, Umar is very good, and needed a chance to regain his confidence.

“Sadiq (Umar) is very good,” Siasia was quoted by PUNCH Nigeria.

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Sadiq Umar in action for Nigeria

“They need to give him a chance and give him the kind of confidence he needs. Then he’s going to surprise. We see him playing in his club and he’s doing very well. He can actually do the same thing here (with the Eagles team).”

Speaking further, Siasia a 1994 AFCON winner, acknowledged the array of talents currently in the Super Eagles. At the same time, he advised the players start playing as a team, adding that time is against Nigeria as the tournament is few days away.

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“The team has good players, but they have to play as a team. If they start playing as a team, then we might have a chance to do whatever, but time is not our friend. The time is short.

Samson Siasia canvas more game time for Umar Sadiq.
Samson Siasia

“If they can up their game, we never know. But we’ve got to get the right players. And let’s see. We’re not going to say they can win it or not. They can win it all. But let’s see how they improve from now on, moving forward,” he continued.

“That will give us the kind of idea if they can win it. It depends on how they play in the next game. But now they are there. Everybody (other teams) is afraid. But they need to build their confidence back.”

Speaking about the 1994 AFCON winning team, the former Al Hilal playmaker revealed years of collective hard work(as a team) was the reason behind the success.

“The team that won the AFCON in 1994 actually played in the 1992 Nations Cup. We were there since the 80s and it took us almost a year to put up a team like that, that can compete.

“I mean, we won the Nations Cup and we can compete like that in the world. So, it took some time, years, to put up that team; a team that was very strong and won the Nations Cup,” he said.

Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro

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For Nigeria to be able to execute, a fourth AFCON title Siasia opines that they “need time to build a team.”

“And we don’t have that time because time is gone. In another 10 years’ time, we should be looking at trying to win the World Cup, not just the Africa Nations Cup. So, we have to start building now.”

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