Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and their forthcoming friendly games fall outside of the international calendar, which means even if Anichebe is selected, they can’t demand his release and Sunderland don’t have to release him for duty.
Moyes said: “Victor would love to play for Nigeria, I’m sure, but not now! “Nigeria have good players and a good squad. It shows how well he is doing, though. You would be very hard placed to replace him given the quality he has shown.”
Anichebe has 11 caps for his country but last played for them five years ago in an African Cup of Nations qualifier in Madagascar in September 2011. It is no surprise Nigeria are keen to bring him back into the fold. But that will have to wait, with third-bottom Sunderland’s need more pressing.
Moyes added: “We need to be mindful, we don’t want teams to work him out. We might have to change his roles and positions at times. He has given us a starting point as a team, which we have not really had.”