“Selfishly, we are satisfied that he is staying here” – Christophe Pelissier pleased with Super Eagles star’s Afcon snub

Only one of the four Nigeria internationals plying their trade in the French top-flight will be on the plane to Cameroon next month for the continental championships

FC Lorient manager Christophe Pelissier has expressed his delight that striker Terem Moffi will not be joining the Super Eagles for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in January.

Moffi made the initial 37-man shortlist drawn up by ex-head coach Gernot Rohr and submitted to CAF days before the German was relieved of his job in charge of the Super Eagles.

But interim head coach Augustine Eguavoen omitted the former Kortrijk forward in the final 28-man roster announced on Christmas Eve.

Had the 2021 Afcon been held in June, Moffi would have probably been a part of the Super Eagles team to Cameroon following his brilliant debut campaign in France. The 23-year-old had smashed in 14 Ligue 1 goals to help Lorient maintain their top-flight status and was one of the breakout stars in the country.

But after a fine start to the 2021-22 season in which he contributed two goals and two assists in his first five matches, Moffi has not hit a goal in months.

Nigeria instead extended invitations to rehabbing Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, in-form Union Berlin man Taiwo Awoniyi, and Leicester City ace Kelechi Iheanacho.

And FCL manager Pelissier has revealed that Moffi is not disheartened to miss out on the Afcon, but rather the Lorient are glad to retain their hitman during a crucial period of the campaign.

“He is not really disappointed because he knew that there, he would only be a foil,” Pelissier said, as per Ouest-France.

“Terem knows how important he is here. He is happy to stay, and we too, selfishly, we are satisfied that he is staying here.”

Moffi is not the only France-based Nigerian international who missed out on the party to Cameroon. Bordeaux’s Samuel Kalu and Josh Maja did not make the Afcon cut.

Nantes winger Moses Simon has been invited to the Nigerian Afcon camp, which officially opened on Wednesday, 29 December.

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