Monday Jan 01, 2024. 11:00
Nigerian midfielder Frank Onyeka has explained that Premier League club Brentford will be able to cope with his absence during the impending Africa Cup of Nations.
The 25-year-old midfielder has been named in Nigeria’s final squad for the AFCON in Ivory Coast and is set to miss several weeks of action for the Bees.
However, he believes Brentford have the squad depth to soften the blow of his absence: “It’s not going to be easy. But I know the team – they are strong,” Onyeka told the BBC. “When someone leaves, another person is there to take their place.”
The midfielder will not enjoy being away from his club – especially after they suffered a fifth straight loss when going down at the hands of Crystal Palace this past weekend – but adds that representing the Super Eagles is always a special moment for him.
“I’ll always want to represent my country on the big stage. It’s an honour to wear the green and white shirt, so it’s something that I have to do,” Onyeka explained.
“I was a boy playing in the streets of Nigeria and now I’m representing the Super Eagles at [the] AFCON.
“It is a dream come true, because after watching AFCON legends in past years, now you’re going to be part of the team. I’m looking forward to it so much.”
Brentford will next be in action on Friday 5 January when they face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup, while Nigeria will face Group A opponents Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast and Guinea-Bissau on 14, 18 and 22 January respectively in the AFCON.