Nigeria international goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.
Former Nigeria captain Nwankwo Kanu says Vincent Enyeama is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and has offered his services to help persuade the goalkeeper to return ‘immediately’ to the Super Eagles.
Nigeria find themselves in a bit of a goalkeeping pickle after first choice keeper Carl Ikeme was diagnosed with acute leukaemia last week.
Daniel Akpeyi, who has previously deputized for Ikeme, now finds himself out of favour following an underwhelming performance in last month’s 2019 Nations Cup defeat to South Africa.
Home-based goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa has not been trusted to man the posts in any fixture beyond friendly games, and youngster Dele Alampasu lacks the big game experience required as Nigeria contemplate their limited choices for next month’s decisive 2018 World Cup double-header against Cameroon.
Kanu says Enyeama is desperately needed to resolve the situation: “As it is now we need Vincent badly. In my opinion, Enyeama should come back immediately,” the two-time African Player of the Year told KweséESPN. “Whoever is close enough to reach him should tell him to start coming back.
“Enyeama is very very good. He is one of the best players in Africa, and one of the best in the world. Let the federation look into it and do everything they can to bring him back.”
Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has had conversations with the goalkeeper in a bid to convince him to return to international football, which he quit after a row with former coach Sunday Oliseh.
But the Lille goalkeeper is still holding out, as he weighs his options and Kanu has offered to help make the case.
“If Enyeama says he doesn’t want to come, people like us can talk to him, the federation too can talk to him. If a lot of people talk to him, I’m sure that definitely he will change his mind.”
With the likes of Dele Aiyenugba also out in the cold, Kanu says the door should be thrown open for competition.
“And not just Enyeama, let us look at some of the other active goalkeepers too. If we have like four goalkeepers there training, there will be competition and the coach can have more options to make his decision.”
Kanu, who was diagnosed with a heart disease early on which almost truncated his career, said he empathizes with Ikeme.
“We are praying for him and we are all behind him. God is with him and he will come out strong. Its not a good thing to hear of something like that happening to a player.
“As somebody who has been in a similar situation I can understand what he is going through. We are all there for him as a country and we have to pray for him.”