Yusuf eyes return after G’Bissau clash


Royale Antwerp midfielder Alhassan Yusuf has said that he expects to be back for the Super Eagles at the African Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast after the match against Guinea-Bissau on Monday.


Yusuf’s AFCON debut against Equatorial Guinea on Sunday lasted only 69 minutes as the 23-year-old was forced off due to injury after posting an impressive performance.

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Despite Nigeria’s underwhelming performance against the National Thunder, which drew scathing criticisms back home, fans reserved praises for the debuting Yusuf, who impressed in his first competitive game for the Eagles.

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His injury got a host of fans worried, and he missed out from the 1-0 win over hosts Ivory Coast last Thursday. But the midfielder has now confirmed that he has started light training and should return after the Djurtus tie today.

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“(I’ll return) very soon, I’ve started to jog and run and do some work on the pitch. In one or two days, I’ll be back,” Yusuf said on Sunday.



Yusuf, according to Sofascore and Fotmob, won seven duels – the most by any player on the field in the game against Equatorial Guinea.


Apart from the number of duels won, stats also showed that on Yusuf’s debut, no Equatorial Guinea player was able to beat Yusuf one-on-one while he was on the pitch. While no opponent was able to dribble past him, he won three tackles and one interception.


The man, who has been likened to Chelsea legend N’Golo Kante, created one big chance, made one key pass and completed two of two attempted crosses in the game.


Calvin Bassey replaced Yusuf in defensive midfield against Ivory Coast and the Fulham defender’s impressive performance should see him retain the spot for the match against Guinea-Bissau.

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