Super Eagles Manager Gernot Rohr has dropped the idea of recalling erstwhile captain Vincent Enyeama from international retirement ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia, Saturday Telegraph has reliably learnt.
The Lille goalie has been tipped for a return to the national team after his successor Carl Ikeme was diagnosed of leukemia, and the inconsistent display of backups Daniel Akpeyi and Ikechukwu Ezenwa.
There have been a lot of politics around Enyeama’s return as he is reportedly quite unwanted by some powerful elements in the Nigeria Football Federation. Sources close to coach Rohr told our correspondent that the coach ended the goalie’s pursuit after he failed to secure a transfer from Lille during the January transfer window.
Enyeama has been reduced to a third choice at the French club and Rohr had said he would only convince the player to return if he is playing regular football.
“Enyeama is not in Rohr’s plan any more, I can confirm that to you,” a source in the NFF told our correspondent. “Some people do not want him back but Rohr believes in his qualities but he has no choice than to forget about the idea because he only wants players who are seeing action regularly to be in his team.
He was expecting that Enyeama would be able to secure a move to where he will play regularly but since that did not happen, he has to look beyond the goalkeeper. He can only return if he suddenly wins back his number one position at Lille.”
However, the source said Rohr had made up his mind to install Deportivo’s player Francis Uzoho as his number one goalkeeper ahead of the Mundial.
Uzoho has only played 45 minutes for the team in their 4-2 win over Argentina last year but he has made a lasting impression on the coach who has tipped him to be in goal in Russia.
“Uzoho is the man, Rohr loves him and sees the goalkeeper as the future of the tea. He has asked the new goalkeeper trainer Enrico Pionetti to work with the goalie in Spain for about two weeks to prepare him for the big task ahead,” the source said.