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More worries for Super Eagles’ coaches

By Gowon Akpodonor and Alex Monye   |   28 April 2017   |   4:15 am

Gernot Rohr

• Injured Mikel flown to England for surgery, Enyeama ruled out for rest of season
• Team still have quality goalkeepers, says Chukwu

Super Eagles handlers must be having sleepless night at the moment, following series of injuries to some key players they are expecting to use for the fast approaching AFCON and World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Cameroun.

While injured Super Eagles captain John Mikel Obi has been reportedly flown from his base in China to London for urgent surgery, Lille of France announced yesterday that Vincent Enyeama, who is heavily linked with a return to the national team is out ‎for the rest of the season.

According to report on sports.enorth.com.cn, the 30-year old Mikel, who has missed Tianjin TEDA’s last three games due to abdominal strain, could be out for more weeks again.

It was learnt that Mikel has lost confidence in the local medical treatment he has been subjected to before now.

Last month, Mikel underwent a traditional Chinese acupuncture in a bid to be fit for a Chinese Super League match.

“Mikel has not played in the league for three consecutive weeks as he has returned to the UK to prepare for surgical treatment, which also means that he will miss the next three league games,” the report by sports.enorth.com.cn, stated yesterday.

Even outside his injury problems, Mikel has always been a major doubt for the Super Eagles camping in Corsica, France, next month as the Chinese Super League season will still be in progress.

Mikel has scored once in three Chinese Super League appearances since joining on a free transfer from Chelsea this term.

En‎yeama has missed the last three games of the club due to the injury, and according to an official statement from the team, he won’t take part in any of their games for the rest of the season.

The former Super Eagles captain was due to hold talks with coach Gernot Rohr about a possible return to the team, following doubts surrounding first choice goalkeeper Carl Ikeme who is battling to be fit.

Enyeama’s return has been severally discussed, with Rohr openly admitting he will love to have the experienced goalkeeper, who left the team after a disagreement with former coach Sunday Oliseh.

Nigeria face South Africa in the AFCON 2019 qualifiers on June 10, with Rohr now faced with the prospect of either fielding Daniel Akpeyi or Ikechukwu Ezenwa, two goalkeepers who he doesn’t seem to have faith in.

Meanwhile, a member of the Technical and Development Committee of the NFF, Christian Chukwu, has told Gerrot Rohr that getting a replacement for injured first choice goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme should not be a problem at this point in time.

Chukwu pointed out yesterday that the duo of Daniel Akpeyi and Ikechukwu Ezenwa have what it takes to stop any opponent in both the Nations Cup and World Cup qualifiers.

“Akpeyi and Ezenwa have been training with the team. They were with the Super Eagles at the London friendly match against Senegal, and I don’t know why Rohr should be worried about goalkeepers,” Chukwu stated.

He further stated that Rohr would be trending on a dangerous part if he decides to turn his back on the two goalkeepers, since the 2019 AFCON qualifier against South Africa and 2018 World Cup qualifier against Cameroun are very important ties for the country.




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