William Troost-Ekong has revealed that the Super Eagles as a team still have the ability to score goals despite the withdrawal of Victor Osimhen from the Africa Cup of Nations roster.
Nigeria are facing a striker crisis before their opening game at the AFCON after Osimhen, Emanuel Dennis and Paul Onuachu were ruled out of the tournament due to a combination of injuries, Covid and non-release by their European clubs.
And to make matters worse, Saudi Arabian club Al-Shabab are refusing to release their top scorer Odion Ighalo to the Nigeria Football Federation.
It means there are only two out-and-out center forwards currently with the team, Taiwo Awoniyi and Sadiq Umar who are very inexperienced at international level with only one game between them.
Troost-Ekong admits the Super Eagles will miss the goalscoring qualities of Osimhen, branding the Napoli star 'one of the hottest strikers in the world' at the moment.
Speaking at Tuesday's press conference, Troost-Ekong said : "Luckily we have many players here who can score goals, for their clubs they are in form and I think that's the beauty about tournament football, there's always new players that will stand up and show themselves.
"At the last AFCON Victor didn't play until the very last game, nobody spoke about Victor they spoke about Ighalo, I'm sure there will be new players that will be standing up as well to fill the shoes.
"Of course we are going to miss Victor very much, he's probably one of the hottest strikers in the world right now."
Without an experienced genuine number 9, interim Nigeria boss Augustine Eguavoen may have to deploy one of Kelechi Iheanacho, Henry Onyekuru, Ahmed Musa, Chidera Ejuke in a center forward role or play with a false nine during the tournament in Cameroon.