Ex Liverpool star, Cisse takes a swipe at victor Osimhen while commending Emilio Nsue for his performance so far at AFCON 2023

As the group stage of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) draws to a close tonight (January 24), the focus of the tournament narrows dramatically.

So far, the showpiece in Ivory Coast has generated quite a few surprises and a few lesser-known names have begun to get themselves into the headlines.

Marquee forwards like Sadio Mane, Riyad Mahrez, and Victor Osimhen have so far failed to meet the expectations put upon them in the AFCON lead-up.

In contrast, Equatorial Guinea’s Emilio Nsue, originally a right-back and now playing as a forward, has emerged as the standout star of the competition so far.

Whoscored reports the 34-year-old Inter City FC player has contributed to five goals in three appearances for Nzalang Nacional, including a remarkable hat-trick against Guinea-Bissau.

Nsue’s impressive performance has garnered widespread praise from both current and former football stars.

One notable endorsement comes from former French forward, Djibril Cisse. While commending Nsue, however, the 42-year-old took a subtle swipe at Nigeria’s Osimhen.

Cisse on Nsue and Osimhen

Quoted by OwnGoalNigeria in an interview with Canal, the former Liverpool forward shared his thoughts on the ongoing AFCON, showering Nsue with praise.

“Nsue has truly stood out for me with his runs, considering the limited opportunities he’s had and the few chances his team has created. Not many had him on their radar before the tournament.

“We expected Osimhen and others to shine, but it’s Nsue who has proven to be the most clinical so far,” he added.

Cisse’s comments have subtly alluded to the underwhelming performance of the Nigerian talisman, who had fallen on a rough patch of form ahead of the competition.

Despite the setback, Osimhen will be eager to rediscover his goal-scoring touch as he leads the Super Eagles’ attack in their upcoming Round of 16 clash against Cameroon.

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