26 June 2017

Nigeria: Relief for Rohr As Ikeme Returns!

Photo: allafrica.com
Super Eagles' Michael Obi and Indomitable Lions' Benjamin Moukandjo (file photo).

Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr must be heaving a sigh of relief following encouraging reports from England about his first choice goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme who has been sidelined by injury for close to two months now.

Ikeme missed end of the season games for Wolverhampton Wanderers last season due to injury. He was also absent when the Super Eagles played Corsica and Togo in friendly games last month.

Indeed Ikeme's absence was most felt when the national team succumbed to a 0-2 defeat to South Africa at the magnificent Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo in a 2019 AFCON qualifier. But the goalkeeper recently posted pictures of himself closing in on a return as his Championship team get set for pre-season training.

With his imminent return for both club and country, Daniel Akpeyi's future in the senior national team is in serious doubt. Ikeme has been doing serious walk outs ahead of Nigeria's tie against Cameroon in the World Cup 2018 qualifier.

Akepyi broke into the team and won the confidence of coach Gernot Rohr ahead of Dele Alampasu and Ikechukwu Ezenwa in the absence of Ikeme, but after the 0-2 loss against South Africa, Akpeyi was faulted for the goals conceded by the Nigeria media.

Rohr confirmed after the game that Ikeme's return will, no doubt, see him reclaim his number one shirt for the clash against Cameroon, and it appears he is well on course to be back for the game after his injury troubles.

His return will, no doubt, leave Akpeyi's future in doubt, because as suggested by Rohr, the Chippa United ace didn't cover himself in glory in the games he kept goal in Ikeme's absence.

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